Georgia on My Mind: All Bets are Ossoff
June 20, 2017 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Tonight, the much anticipated results of the GA-06 Special Election will be known. Recent polling has shown Ossoff and Handel to be in a virtual statistical tie. Pro-Ossoff dinosaurs have been seen campaigning around the district and have made campaign signs into glitter bombs (Joan Walsh, The Nation! Here are 6 key things to watch for (Caitlin MacNeal, Talking Points Memo) as the results come in. Here are some resources (courtesy of Chrysostom) for following the results.

In other news, Mitch McConnell and his staff are hiding the text of the Senate Healthcare bill, even from members of the Republican caucus (Jordain Carney, The Hill). A draft of the bill is currently expected to be released on Thursday. However, the bill is likely to change next week (Catilin Owens, Axios). Reports suggest that Donald Trump has, for a second time, privately criticized the Senate bill (Eamon Javers, CNBC), saying that it needs "more heart".

Senate Democrats held the floor on Monday night (Everett Burgess, Politico), vowing to gum up the workings of the Senate with procedural motions in the hopes of forcing McConnell to reveal the proposed text of the bill.

Also some Housekeeping. First, it's very helpful to news organizations if we credit authors and link directly to their pieces, as per spitbull's suggestions. Second, please keep contextless liveblogging in chat, so as to keep the thread size manageable for as long as possible. In this vein, if the news is slow one day, the thread can also be slow. Finally, please do keep the moderators' and fellow MeFites' mental health in mind by avoiding posting doomsday scenarios and/or thoughts of suicide. It takes a serious toll on the moderation staff, especially when these posts are grim and graphic. If you are in need of mental health resources, please consider the ones in this post or ask for some help in finding some.

Thanks also to soren_lorensen and Existential Dread (as well as everyone else who proposed one) for the post title!
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal (3091 comments total) 100 users marked this as a favorite
 
Two post titles in one! TRICKY.

and thank you for the new post!
posted by lalex at 3:57 PM on June 20 [15 favorites]


Thanks, Excommunicated Cardinal!
posted by bardophile at 4:01 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Bingewatching House of Cards here. S3E1, 11 minutes in, Frank Underwood goes on TV and says he'll form a commission to look into campaign finance reform so "history does not repeat itself".

If only we inhabited that timeline.
posted by saysthis at 4:01 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Kudos, EC, for stepping up the plate once again.

Reports suggest that Donald Trump has, for a second time, privately criticized the Senate bill (Eamon Javers, CNBC), saying that it needs "more heart".

I suspect, as in all things Trump, his ox has been gored by some provision or other and he wants that one, and only that one, fixed to not harm him or his.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:01 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


538 has a sanity check: How The Georgia 6 Result Will Be Interpreted (And How It Should Be Interpreted)

Summary:
Ossoff wins by 4+: Ecstasy!
Ossoff wins by <4: Mildly scary for Republicans
Handel wins by <4: Mildly scary for Democrats
Handel wins by 4+: Abandon all hope
posted by lalex at 4:03 PM on June 20 [24 favorites]


Would you say it's time for MeFites to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:07 PM on June 20 [43 favorites]


Hi there! I've been lurking in these threads (and MetaFilter in general) since the heady days of the primaries... I finally registered an account this weekend, and today I got around to posting a comment here. I won't say these threads have helped keep me sane, but "informed" is a nice second best.

Good luck, Georgia.
posted by one for the books at 4:07 PM on June 20 [113 favorites]


anybody know what is going on with that ominous/enigmatic/insane NK tweet?
posted by angrycat at 4:08 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I suspect, as in all things Trump, his ox has been gored by some provision or other and he wants that one, and only that one, fixed to not harm him or his.

He overheard some WH staff discussing if one of them had any Alleve on them and that made up his mind right there [FALSE?]
posted by petebest at 4:08 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Yes I would Kent.
posted by bstreep at 4:08 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


Oh, and there's a DailyKos livethread, but I think normally there isn't much editorial content, mostly the commenters going at it.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:11 PM on June 20


Any win seems too much to hope for TBH.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]




Good luck, people of Georgia's 6th. We're all counting on you.

Seriously. We're counting on you. Don't fuck this up. Seriously. Please.
posted by Frayed Knot at 4:13 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Trump’s Not Ready for a Crisis
Inside the 18-acre White House compound, the National Security Council process—making key decisions and overseeing their execution—is still in transition nearly five months after President Donald Trump took office. The sooner this transition concludes, the better for our security. In the long run, getting this transition right is far more important than any of the administration’s discrete decisions that have dominated the news since January 20.
...
While we undergo this too-slow transition, the world continues to spin. Without our national security team and process in place, we are living on borrowed time before we confront a significant national security crisis that overnight becomes our first priority. Opponents deliberately will test us, friends will move on in their own interests, natural disasters will happen. No one will wait for us to get our act together. We cannot afford 2017 to be a year of endless transition. This issue is our top national security priority today.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:14 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


Welcome, one for the books, and I'm sorry that we have to meet under such circumstances. May happier days of meltdowns over less troubling controversies such as the great sit/stand debate lie ahead for us all.
posted by Existential Dread at 4:15 PM on June 20 [20 favorites]


metafilter: normally there isn't much editorial content, mostly the commenters going at it.
posted by Justinian at 4:15 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


I asked @MerriamWebster to consider my extended definition for inclusion in 2017's words of note:

mcconnell /məˈkɑnəl/
noun
1. the stubborn, smelly layer of old bones and rotten fat at the bottom of a commercial grease trap.

2. a sheen having the odor or appearance of that substance: The oil spill created a sickly mcconnell on the once-pristine lake.

verb
3. to destroy something while obfuscating one's actions, especially for personal gain: The mayor promised to improve trash pickup but instead mcconnelled it so badly that the town was quarantined.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:16 PM on June 20 [26 favorites]


buzzfeed liveblog
posted by infinitewindow at 4:17 PM on June 20


Caitlin Owens/Axios: GOP still searching for votes after 'testy' health care meeting. As usual, they're bleeding from the right, with folks like Sens. Cruz and Lee upset because the bill isn't harsh enough, and from the left, with more moderate Republicans worried about Medicaid cuts. The strategy, which always seems to work, seems to be to placate the right, because the moderates always seem to fall in line anyway, no matter how much they talk about how "concerned" they are.

Matt Fuller has a similar take: Senate Republicans Don’t Really Care About The Loathed AHCA Process, in which Sen. McCain is suitably concerned yet won't do a darn thing to address his concerns, and chaos reigns as the train rumbles forward.

Now would be a great time to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to call your Senators in the morning and tell them you oppose the AHCA and any cuts to Medicaid.
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on June 20 [27 favorites]


And there's a liveblog from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:21 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


A comment from the previous thread:

That's a really good point. What's preventing the Democratic noise machine from yelling and screaming about "Death Panels" and "Taking away Grandma's Nursing Home" and "Freedom to Die in a Ditch"? Why not force Republicans to deny it constantly?

Democratic politicians seem to have this notion that they are somehow above politicking. It's insane.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:24 PM on June 20 [55 favorites]


Our precinct was crowded but moving very fast about an hour ago. Looked good for Ossoff. No matter what happens, though, I never want to be contacted about any election ever again.
posted by lemonadeheretic at 4:28 PM on June 20 [24 favorites]


Democratic politicians seem to have this notion that they are somehow above politicking. It's insane.

It's because politicking at its core is both somewhat intellectually dishonest and usually not much use.
posted by Talez at 4:29 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


No worries, lemonadeheretic, you've got at least 6 months before the midterm campaigning.
posted by Justinian at 4:30 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


No matter what happens, though, I never want to be contacted about any election ever again.

Sorry, this seat is up again in 503 days!

AND there's a governor's race!
posted by Chrysostom at 4:31 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


Bingewatching House of Cards here. S3E1, 11 minutes in, Frank Underwood goes on TV and says he'll form a commission to look into campaign finance reform so "history does not repeat itself".

If only we inhabited that timeline.


Um, keep watching.
posted by The World Famous at 4:31 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


538 live blog.

Right now, (7:32 ET), Handel is up 9 votes to 7 (was 6-3 when I started writing this comment). TIME TO PANIC!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:32 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Pod Save America today has Chuck Schumer and it's a good listen re D stragery for the Senate health care Bill of Mysteries.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:34 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Reminder that chatty stuff is supposed to go in Chat.

(I'm as guilty as anyone)
posted by Chrysostom at 4:35 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Um, keep watching.

I'm fully caught up and I'd rather have Doug Stamper as my president than be in this fucking timeline
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:36 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


Doomslayer prediction Ossoff loses by a slim margin due to being basically an exciting as weak tea and an outsider to the dinstinct but we see more engagement from female voters.
posted by The Whelk at 4:36 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


> Right now, (7:32 ET), Handel is up 9 votes to 7 (was 6-3 when I started writing this comment). TIME TO PANIC!

Hopefully at one point it was 1-0 and someone got a screenshot.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:36 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Reuters Attorney general unveils 12-city partnership to fight crime
The Justice Department did not say how it chose the 12 cities, which are mostly in the eastern half of the country and include Buffalo, New York and Memphis, Tennessee.

The program features a three-year initiative to help coordinate crime-fighting efforts among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors, Sessions said in unveiling the new National Public Safety Partnership.[...]Sessions did not disclose any new funding for the initiative, which will focus on gun crime, drug trafficking and gang violence. The federal government will be providing help in areas that include training, crime analysis, gun violence, community engagement and investigations.


Pod Save America today has Chuck Schumer


I just finished listening to this and I admit Schumer was quite inspiring. Loved the story about how he got into politics(because the Harvard basketball team did not want him.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:37 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


It's because politicking at its core is both somewhat intellectually dishonest and usually not much use.

I agree with the first part, but I think the successes of this generation of conservatives show how useful it can be.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:37 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


Democratic politicians seem to have this notion that they are somehow above politicking. It's insane

It's the "When they go low, we go high" crap that cost them the presidency and senate in 16. One party thinks 'Dangerous Donald' is an effective tactic, the other will gin up as much racial, sexual, violent, repugnant fear and loathing as they can to win.

Guess who won. Dems need to learn style points don't matter, only results. So far there is 0 indication they've learned that for today or for 2018.
posted by splen at 4:38 PM on June 20 [35 favorites]


Handel is up 9 votes to 7 (was 6-3 when I started writing this comment). TIME TO PANIC!

Don't look at the votes, look at the Ossoff momentum!
posted by contraption at 4:38 PM on June 20


Meanwhile the Republicans run ads directly tying Jon Ossoff to Nancy Pelosi to shooting members of Congress.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:40 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Don't look at the votes, look at the Ossoff momentum!

Velossoffity!
posted by kirkaracha at 4:41 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


Tonight the Trumps and Pences are having dinner together. Tomorrow Trump travels to Iowa for a Tech Week event in Cedar Rapids and a Trump-Pence campaign rally in the evening. He must be feeling blue since they've scheduled a rally to cheer him up. Also, he and Pence are sure spending a lot of time together. They really seem like an odd fit--especially the wives. Can't imagine what they talk about.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:42 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


The in-person early vote in Fulton county was pretty good for Handel. I wish we could get some mail-in early vote to see how heavily Ossoff it ends up.
posted by Justinian at 4:43 PM on June 20


I don't know if I'm feeling new panic now or if this is still the old panic from last November.
posted by rouftop at 4:45 PM on June 20 [19 favorites]


Yeah, this separate counting of postal voting and in-person early voting is kind of nuts.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:45 PM on June 20


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: Goodnight, Health Care
In a dark, dark wood-paneled room
Down a dark, dark hall
Down a dark, dark staircase
In a dark, dark building
Down another equally long hall
Past a row of statues
And three ominous guards
And two American flags
And a man whispering “hush”
And a series of paintings of the Founding Fathers in various attitudes of saintliness and undress
Through several thick doors
Inaccessible to journalists and far from the keen eyes of the Senate
Behind a pile of papers
And another pile of papers
In a dark, dark box
There is
The Senate version of the health-care bill.
Which of course everyone knows about and which has been discussed perfectly openly.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:47 PM on June 20 [57 favorites]


He must be feeling blue since they've scheduled a rally to cheer him up
I am not sure it's going to have that effect. I'm getting the sense that there are going to be more protesters than supporters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:48 PM on June 20


Watch Osseggs lose but Parnell win in SC-5. Because 2017.

Edit: Ossoff -> Osseggs on my phone, well played, autocorrect. Fits with the egg theme around here.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:50 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


GQ Paul Ryan's Opponent in Wisconsin Is a Union Ironworker Who Just Launched the Campaign Ad of the Year
When Speaker of the House and Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan isn't busy taking your health care away, he's trying to give rich people tax cuts while screwing over the poor. Well, it turns out he's going to have some competition for his seat in 2018 and it's as if his opponent was built in a lab from a mix of Springsteen lyrics and "I hate Democrats, but there's something about this guy I like," statements from Republicans. Randy Bryce is a union iron worker, a U.S. Army veteran, and a badass with an awesome mustache that serves as the namesake of his Twitter account: @IronStache.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:51 PM on June 20 [65 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Watch Osseggs lose but Parnell win in SC-5. Because 2017"

Parnell IS ahead at this point.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:51 PM on June 20


I opened 538 for the first time since election night, felt a wave of nausea so intense it rivaled food poisoning, and promptly backed out of there.

Still not ready yet. I'll try again if Ossoff wins and I get to see some blue. Maybe.
posted by lydhre at 4:52 PM on June 20 [28 favorites]


I've read that in the last week a number of conservative PACs have purchased air time and run fear-mongering ads regarding the congressional baseball practice shooting, trying to blame "unhinged leftists" and that this is what will happen if a Democrat gains a seat. It's disgusting, but not surprising considering the political climate that we live in.
posted by Fizz at 4:55 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Ossoff will lose because republicans cheat.

Period.

I hope I'm wrong but I don't think so.
posted by Max Power at 4:57 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


honestly the NYT election meter is a really nice piece of visualization work; too bad about all the PTSD
posted by lalex at 5:02 PM on June 20 [27 favorites]


I agree with the first part, but I think the successes of this generation of conservatives show how useful it can be.

It "works" on people because it synergizes with their preconceived biases and prejudices and validates them. It doesn't have to be conservatives (Jill 2016!) and it really doesn't change hearts or minds.
posted by Talez at 5:02 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Ossoff will lose because republicans cheat.

Period.


I think it's worth considering that in a district that is historically heavily GOP, where the Dem got about 48% in round 1, and where the polls have been tied, that the GOP candidate could just plain win.

I don't like Handel, I hope she loses, but I wouldn't say she's wildly out of step with what people in the district want.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:03 PM on June 20 [29 favorites]


There's an idiom that goes "you don't wrestle a pig in shit because the pig will enjoy it and you'll just end up covered in shit". I'm pretty sure this is in common parlance. But still people insist the Democrats get in that shit covered pen and wrestle with that pig because, well, the pig seems to enjoy it.
posted by Talez at 5:04 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


Bunch more votes came in, they're consistent with a Handel win of less than 1%, same as the initial early vote from Fulton.
posted by Justinian at 5:05 PM on June 20


It'll be a real peach of a recount.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:06 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Before doom saying, remember this is a baseline R+6 district.

There are more than 30 seats currently occupied by a Republican that are less R-leaning than GA-6, including Paul Ryan's. A loss here is still not inconsistent with retaking the House. Although a win would obviously bring some much needed hope.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:07 PM on June 20 [34 favorites]


May I ask, as others have before, that we chill on the negative talk? The "we'll never win" talk. As it's been pointed out many times before, it helps no one.
posted by greermahoney at 5:08 PM on June 20 [22 favorites]


I'm putting my faith in Nate Cohn and waiting for the mail vote before I jump to any serious conclusions.
posted by zachlipton at 5:08 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Also worth remembering: Dems need 24 seats to regain control of House. There are 23 districts where Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election that have a GOP House member.
posted by prefpara at 5:08 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


With 4% reporting it's tied at 50.00 - 50.00, in case anyone was worried this wouldn't be close.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:09 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


It's the "When they go low, we go high" crap that cost them the presidency and senate in 16. One party thinks 'Dangerous Donald' is an effective tactic, the other will gin up as much racial, sexual, violent, repugnant fear and loathing as they can to win.

Guess who won. Dems need to learn style points don't matter, only results. So far there is 0 indication they've learned that for today or for 2018.


Yeah, what we really need is a stupid, emotional, fear-driven mob of reactive voters like the Republicans have! That will ensure that thoughtful, careful, examined policy work gets done!

This isn't a difference of style, it's a difference of substance. Maybe we could get more voters by lying and cheating and stoking hate and doing all the shit Republicans do (and I'm sure you're arguing that we should turn to the dark side based on lots of good empirical data on what that would do to polling numbers rather than just blind emotion). Maybe not, since a lot of people who recognize the Republican machine and process as monstrous would see yours the same way. But even in the best case the end result wouldn't be what the Democrats are going for now, except more effective; it would be something different, something more populist, something more short-sighted and fearful and emotion-driven, and in the end the hatemob that you've created would be just as vulnerable to hijacking as the Republican hatemob is.

Do you know any people who've been weaponized and radicalized by the Republican propaganda machine? I have a few family members this has happened to. It ruins them as people. They never look happy anymore. They have been coached into a state of constant fear and paranoia over fictional bullshit for the good of the cause, and it hollows them out in a way that is frankly terrifying to behold. They're always defensive, always combative, strung tight like a wire and ready to snap at absolutely anyone or anything. You said the results are what matter; a high-strung, miserable, desperate, hateful electorate who will vote for whichever candidate inspires the most gut rage is the result of the Republican process. Is this the result you're looking for? Is this what you think we need more of? And what do you think comes next?
posted by IAmUnaware at 5:09 PM on June 20 [117 favorites]


With 4% reporting it's tied at 50.00 - 50.00, in case anyone was worried this wouldn't be close.

What's 4% reporting? SC is closer to 20%, and GA is less than 1%.
posted by Justinian at 5:11 PM on June 20


Sorry, Justinian. I was consulting the fivethirtyeight liveblog.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:12 PM on June 20


Oh, gotcha, they seem to have access to quicker update numbers than the NYT!
posted by Justinian at 5:14 PM on June 20


So, what's the theory about why different types of voting (early, early by mail, early in person, day-of) are favored at different rates by Rs and Ds?
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:16 PM on June 20


Minority voters are more likely to have jobs that won't allow them to vote on Election Day, and more likely to fear discrimination at the actual polls.

Racism, pure and simple.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:19 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


Also, specific to this race, in round 1, you saw more Rs wait until Election Day because they had like 17 candidates, and people were making up their mind. The Ds coalesced around Ossoff early.

That's why there was much more R early voting in round 2.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:19 PM on June 20


Parnell is doing better in Montana than Ossoff is going in GA. Hah hah. Hah?
posted by Justinian at 5:20 PM on June 20


Psst - Montana and South Carolina are significantly different places.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:22 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


The Republican areas in SC haven't come in yet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:22 PM on June 20


If Parnell is doing better in Montana, we're really in big trouble, since he's running in South Carolina.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:22 PM on June 20 [22 favorites]


Ah, yes: the ol' "Montana Moral Victory"
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:24 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


It's the "When they go low, we go high" crap that cost them the presidency and senate in 16.

Don't forget to include Russian meddling and voter suppression and possible collision with foreign governments in your overly simple equation. So no, going high is not crap, it's deciding not to be crap.
posted by milarepa at 5:24 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


yes, yes, I meant South Carolina.

I will not abuse the edit window.
posted by Justinian at 5:25 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


They never look happy anymore. They have been coached into a state of constant fear and paranoia over fictional bullshit for the good of the cause, and it hollows them out in a way that is frankly terrifying to behold. They're always defensive, always combative, strung tight like a wire and ready to snap at absolutely anyone or anything.

This is an accurate description of millions of liberals and progressives, including me, except our existential panic is based on facts instead of lies. What's your suggestion now that we're already here?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:25 PM on June 20 [24 favorites]


OK. Both seats are going to go comfortably to the Republican candidates. Disappointing but expected. The orange turd will no doubt see it as a victory for his agenda despite a D+8 swing in GA and D+16 swing in SC.
posted by Talez at 5:25 PM on June 20


man the JCPL level must be off the charts.
posted by lalex at 5:26 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


You can get kind of a weird Schrodinger's Election thing going in South Carolina, where the race can only be at all close if nobody pays any attention to it, because the reason it was so close was because nobody paid any attention and turnout was so low. If you bring a $51 million dollar national circus to the district, everything turns out completely different.

Note though that the votes we're seeing now in SC are not particularly representative of the district as a whole.
posted by zachlipton at 5:28 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


man the JCPL level must be off the charts.

No, as I posted (last night?) it looked like the last couple of days had a swing towards Handel, just as the last couple of days before the Pres election had a swing towards Trump. So I figured Handel would squeak it out.

I think the asshole who shot at the Republican House members probably swung enough votes towards Handel. His actions were worse than a crime; they were a mistake.
posted by Justinian at 5:28 PM on June 20 [13 favorites]


I did see those comments! I was just making a (not very good) joke about the SC/MT mixup.
posted by lalex at 5:31 PM on June 20


Tonight the Trumps and Pences are having dinner together. Tomorrow Trump travels to Iowa for a Tech Week event in Cedar Rapids and a Trump-Pence campaign rally in the evening. He must be feeling blue since they've scheduled a rally to cheer him up. Also, he and Pence are sure spending a lot of time together. They really seem like an odd fit--especially the wives. Can't imagine what they talk about.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:42 PM on June 20 [1 favorite +] [!]


I'll do my best not to be snarky, especially since I haven't been in Iowa in ~15 years.

Around that time, though, I was told that Cedar Rapids/Iowa City were looking to make a "technology corridor" on the freeway that ran the roughly 20 miles between them. I never saw this in the newspapers. Only heard about through word-of-mouth.

I just googled "Cedar Rapids Iowa City technology corridor" and none of the links was worth sharing here (unless you like a web site with neon green or a site that talks about how it's now going to be the creative corridor).

I'm actually happy the tech corridor didn't happen since it was (probably, still is) a nice, scenic drive.

And, now with the snark: which is exactly why Trump chose it. To kill beauty by "developing" the land, latch on to a program that has been failing for decades and insist C.R./I.C. will be the next tech capitol of the world because he will make it so! (Every tech person I have ever met has expressed desire to move to a climate where, with wind-chill, temps fall below 0 Farenheit with regularity.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:32 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Before just now, I hadn't visited the NYTs election results page since last November. It's giving me bad flashbacks, man.
posted by acrasis at 5:33 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


With 4% reporting it's tied at 50.00 - 50.00, in case anyone was worried this wouldn't be close.

Have any of the networks called it yet?
posted by bongo_x at 5:34 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Interesting how much faster the SC count is.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:37 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Pro-Ossoff dinosaurs have been seen campaigning around the district

Is this helping?
posted by bongo_x at 5:38 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Turnout is apparently very low in SC.
posted by lalex at 5:38 PM on June 20


I just want to tell you good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:38 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


NYT: Despite Concerns About Blackmail, Flynn Heard C.I.A. Secrets
posted by Chrysostom at 5:41 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Just to pop in with some non-special election news:

Here's Jeh Johnson's (ran Homeland Security under Obama) opening remarks for the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the election. He discusses and defends his calls for more security in the lead-up to the election, but does not address the widespread intrusions into voting systems revealed in the document Reality Winner leaked, and is unequivocal about the situation:
In 2016 the Russian government, at the direction of Vladimir Putin himself,
orchestrated cyberattacks on our Nation for the purpose of influencing our election
– plain and simple. Now, the key question for the President and Congress is: what
are we going to do to protect the American people and their democracy from this
kind of thing in the future?
The hearing is set for around 10am Tuesday.

In other news, BuzzFeed brings us Betsy DeVos Picked A Student Loan CEO To Run The Student Loan System
When the Trump administration announced its pick to run the $1.3 trillion federal student loan system on Tuesday, there was one notable thing about the candidate that wasn't mentioned in the press release: he's the CEO of a private student loan company.

The Education Department's statement described A. Wayne Johnson as the "Founder, Chairman and former CEO" of a payments technology company called First Performance Corporation. It noted his Ph.D. in education leadership, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, citing his dissertation, said he "actually wrote the book on student loan debt."

But what wasn't noted was Johnson is currently the CEO of Reunion Student Loan Services, a detail confirmed by a company representative reached by phone on Tuesday afternoon. Reunion originates and services private student loans, and offers refinancing and consolidation for existing loans.
posted by zachlipton at 5:42 PM on June 20 [19 favorites]


Does anyone know what measures they are taking to mitigate the security risks identified a few days ago in GA? I'm hoping results coming in slowly is a sign that they're checking their work, or something. But I don't really know if there's anything they CAN do really.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:42 PM on June 20


My read of Dem insiders on Twitter is that they think Ossoff lost. They've been pre-spinning a loss for the last few hours...
posted by gerryblog at 5:44 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


No, they blew it off, at least to the outside world.

The round 1 count was super slow, too. GA is apparently notorious as a slow counting state.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:44 PM on June 20


Does anyone know what measures they are taking to mitigate the security risks identified a few days ago in GA?

Yeah, the measures they took were "fuck you, that's my name."
posted by Justinian at 5:44 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Is there an election where the Democrats can run against Expectations instead?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:46 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Betsy DeVos Picked A Student Loan CEO To Run The Student Loan System

Because why not? It's not like anyone's going to do anything about it. This country, ffs.
posted by ctmf at 5:46 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


The fact that anyone is feeling the need to spin a D loss for Tom Price's former House seat is actually progress. Or so I shall tell myself so I can sleep tonight.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:47 PM on June 20 [19 favorites]


Is there an election where the Democrats can run against Expectations instead?
No, but there are lots of elections in closely-divided districts that Democrats can win without having to pull off a miracle. It's just that a lot of people find that kind of boring and would rather some sort of sports-movie style triumph against unbeatable odds.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:48 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Well, that's the thing - special elections for people plucked into the executive branch are usually safe seats, for obvious reasons. You expect to lose these seats. I 100% share the frustration, but I am very heartened by 2017 results to date.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:51 PM on June 20 [15 favorites]


Latest from Wasserman:
We’re in a weird spot in Georgia 6, where Handel seems to be doing well based on the in-person early vote but the first few completed precincts look good for Ossoff. To be honest, I’m totally up in the air on this one right now and have no idea who will win. I’m more confident in South Carolina 5, where Republicans look like they’ll hang on, but by a much narrower margin than polls suggested.
(FWIW, I believe Dave is personally a Republican, but a straight shooter and very sharp guy)
posted by Chrysostom at 5:51 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


The story of the night might actually be this South Carolina race.
posted by lalex at 5:52 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I'm going to suggest that, whatever the results (and particularly in the case of a GOP win in Georgia, because I know how prone people are to prognostications of doom), we don't take them as being the final verdict upon the state of the world. If the last couple of years have taught us anything at all, it's that things keep changing in unpredictable ways.
posted by howfar at 5:52 PM on June 20 [37 favorites]


Yeah, some of the numbers people are more waffley than others on what is going on in GA. I still feel like Handel will pull it out very narrowly but I am by no means super confident in that prediction.
posted by Justinian at 5:53 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


And, now with the snark: which is exactly why Trump chose it. To kill beauty by "developing" the land, latch on to a program that has been failing for decades and insist C.R./I.C. will be the next tech capitol of the world because he will make it so!
Nah, that's not it. He was actually supposed to come right after his Middle East trip for a restorative campaign-style rally where he could bask in adulation, but he was too tired, so he postponed it. I have no idea why he thinks that he's going to get adulation in Cedar Rapids: my sense is that the people who hate him are a lot more fired up than the people who don't hate him. I think he's officially here to tour some tech-related program at Kirkwood Community College, but we all know that he's really here for the rally. I can't go to the rally, because I have a work commitment tomorrow night, but there's definitely a big protest planned.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:54 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


If the numbers hold up (63k votes with 78% of precincts reporting) then, if my math is right, voter turnout in SC-05 will end up around 12% or so based on the most recent US census numbers. Unless there's a ton of votes in the remaining 22% of precincts that'll drive that number up.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:55 PM on June 20


Is the NYT way behind or am I going crazy? They seem to only have 9% of precincts in and 538 has 24%
posted by lalex at 5:57 PM on June 20


I think they are lagging - the 538 and Decision Desk #s are about the same.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:59 PM on June 20


Here's something to take your mind off the races: the menu for tonight's dinner at the Pences
Heirloom tomato & cucumber sad with balsamic vinegrette dressing

Filet mignon with red wine reduction, shoe string potatoes & asparagus

Mixed berries and cream
So no wedge of iceberg with blue cheese dressing followed by burnt steak and ketchup and chocolate cake or chocolate pie with two scoops. Pence is going to have some splainin to do.

I can only imagine how boring the conversation will be. Karen will admire Melania's dress and her hair and her make-up and Mike will admire Donald's something or other...broad shoulders? It will be one long night of Mike massaging Trump's ego. Think Mike can risk a compliment to Melania without facing the wrath of Mother?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:01 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


I'm leaving the typo in the first line of the menu because it makes me laugh.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:02 PM on June 20 [66 favorites]


I bet the Tomato and cucumber ARE sad :(
posted by ian1977 at 6:03 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


The NYT numbers seem to match the Politico numbers, which only include precincts that are fully reporting, as opposed to partial reports. The graphic in the Politico report gives an interesting picture of how far things have swung in various precincts.
posted by zachlipton at 6:03 PM on June 20


SHIT THESE FUCKERS ARE SLOW COUNTERS

Ahem.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:05 PM on June 20


Here in the other GA (i.e. outside Atlanta), local TV isn't reporting on the results, although I am sure there will be mention of it on the 11:00 news. The crawl on the bottom of NCIS, etc. is all about the weather (it is raining a lot with some flooding risk). But as of a few minutes ago ajc.com has it neck and neck, with Ossoff slightly ahead. I will be quite surprised if he actually wins Leroy N. Gingrich's old seat, but even being this close is really amazing. Here is a political novice giving an entrenched political insider, who was proudly one of the architects of voter suppression in this state, a run for her money. It's not enough to make me optimistic, but definitely a little less gloomy.
posted by TedW at 6:06 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


Decisiondesk has Handle widening to almost 2%. Probably getting close to calling it territory.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:06 PM on June 20


SHIT THESE FUCKERS ARE SLOW COUNTERS

Counting votes is actually harder than you would think, especially if shit's contentious.

Signed,

a vote counter
posted by jessamyn at 6:06 PM on June 20 [44 favorites]


I eat a sad almost everyday. It's what I call dinner with overtired toddlers.
posted by lydhre at 6:06 PM on June 20 [18 favorites]


John Lewis just got up and gave a preconcession speech at the Osseff returns party. It's over.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:08 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I eat a sad almost everyday. It's what I call dinner with overtired toddlers.

Are you having dinner with Trump at the Pence's too?????
posted by ian1977 at 6:08 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


I reheated leftover caprese chicken for dinner, because I needed some good news and sitting down to that is always a joy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:09 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


SC called for the GOP. (AP)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:09 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


SC-05 is called for Norman, looks like 3% final margin? MUCH closer than polling indicated.

(Yours truly expected maybe 8-9 points)
posted by Chrysostom at 6:11 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


SC-05 is called for Norman, looks like 3% final margin? MUCH closer than polling indicated.
The district was +18 for Trump. Definitely closer than anyone expected.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:14 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


For a diversion from the news out of Georgia, Buzzfeed has a little quiz:

Can You Remember Which One Of These Trump Scandals Happened First?

(It may be trickier than it looks. Despite my obsession with the US politics megathreads, I scored only 50% correct.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:14 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Betsy DeVos Picked A Student Loan CEO To Run The Student Loan System

Is he also a baby-eating dingo?

...the appointment of former industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chairman of the FCC was "the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo."

The same goes for hiring oil-man Tillerson as SoS. Or a climate change denier as head of the EPA. What the hell is with all these industry dingos in the daycare?
posted by adept256 at 6:17 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I got 7 out of 10...WRONG!
posted by ian1977 at 6:17 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


(It may be trickier than it looks. Despite my obsession with the US politics megathreads, I scored only 50% correct.)

Same here, 50%. I think the problem is a) there are WAY too many of these scandals and own-goals and random outbreaks of stupidity, and b) they are happening in such rapid succession. I was familiar with all of the events they listed but found it really hard to keep the timeline straight in my head.

I have to assume textbook publishers of the future (assuming the continued existence of publishers, and books, and the future) will only include a paragraph on Trump, maybe two, not because there's not enough material for more, but because there's far too much. 'No one would possibly believe all of this happened anyway,' they will think to themselves.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:28 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Randy Bryce has raised $100k in the first 24 hours.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:28 PM on June 20 [30 favorites]


I got 6 out of 10 correct! I'm horrified I remember the order of goddamned tweets like that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:29 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


6/10 right; thanks mefi politics threads!
posted by notyou at 6:29 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


That's a tough quiz! It really is hard to keep it all straight, it's been such a firehose. But I got 8/10! Bragging rights until someone beats me!
posted by scrowdid at 6:31 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Well, now with 39% reporting, Handel is ahead 52% to 48%. 😡
posted by TedW at 6:33 PM on June 20


I got 4 out of 10; SAD!
posted by TedW at 6:34 PM on June 20


Another 6 out of 10. Everything was familiar, but the timeline is a blur.
posted by Superplin at 6:36 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


So Parnell in SC seems to be on track to lose by just 3 points, and that's AMAZING.
posted by lalex at 6:37 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


Also, the SC elections site sucks and does not want to tell me the results for the the two State House specials.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:38 PM on June 20


MetaFilter: scandals and own-goals and random outbreaks of stupidity
posted by kirkaracha at 6:39 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


7 / 10 -- which amazes me because everything between January and May is a giant surreal blur in my mind. I mean, remember the Muslim Ban rollout and the airport protests? It was like a geologic age ago!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:39 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Mulvaney won SC05 by 20.5%. Price won GA06 by 23.4%. 7 months ago. This is not a bad night at all even if we end up going 0 for 2. There are 93 districts less R than GA06.
posted by chris24 at 6:41 PM on June 20 [32 favorites]


honestly the NYT election meter is a really nice piece of visualization work; too bad about all the PTSD

Though the thing that produced the most T was that probability line graph that bent inexorably from 100% Clinton to 100% Trump in excruciating real-time. Am I right that the NYT seems to have dropped that? And in fact, they seem to have dropped all the probability-of-win calculations and visualizations -- I don't even find "probability" on the page at all. I hope that's true, and that they did it for the right reasons: I've been saying for months (well before the election) that presenting things in terms of win-probabilities was one of the worst things ever popularized by Silver, and is arguably one of the myriad factors indirectly responsible for Clinton's loss. I hope they realized how psychologically misleading it can be, and have ditched it forever.
posted by chortly at 6:42 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I want to focus on how wonderful these big swings are even if we don't win, but I still have fucking liberal tears because I just can't absorb that hundreds of thousands of voters, not just don't care about all the shit that has been happening, but are actively turning out to support it. I can't understand it, I can't accept it, and it's making me feel unmoored and miserable. These fuckers and their fuckery periodically make me feel uncomfortable conflicted feelings about my very wanted baby that I am about to bring into a world that scares me and that I struggle to understand.
posted by prefpara at 6:45 PM on June 20 [59 favorites]



Mulvaney won SC05 by 20.5%. Price won GA06 by 23.4%. 7 months ago. This is not a bad night at all even if we end up going 0 for 2. There are 93 districts less R than GA06.


THIS THIS THIS. I know how demoralizing it is to lose, BUT, both districts in SC and GA were safe Republican districts before. The fact that Democrats are now competitive in those districts, rather than losing by landslides, is something to hearten us and take note of.

Lose this time? Take note of what worked and what didn't and take that into 2018. I also think that getting out the vote is always going to be an issue with D's; they tend to stay home at the midterms and that is a Bad Bad Thing.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:48 PM on June 20 [66 favorites]


Re NYT page: Yeah, I believe Cohn said they dropped that bit.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:48 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


The graphic in the Politico report gives an interesting picture of how far things have swung in various precincts.

Update: it turns out that it was a quite interesting picture indeed, but it was also literally bass-ackwards, in that it reversed the candidates' vote margins. The new graphic is up now, which they claim is now fixed, showing the swing to Handel from the primary.
posted by zachlipton at 6:49 PM on June 20


Appalling error from Politico.
posted by lalex at 6:51 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Ossoff took 73% of DeKalb mail ballots, but I think he needed more like 80%.

Sigh.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:52 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


From Wasserman:
BIG news. DeKalb County just reported its mail ballots, pretty much Ossoff’s last hope. There were 7,448 ballots, and he won 73 percent of them. But believe it or not, that’s just not good enough. Handel looks increasingly likely to prevail tonight.
And from Cohn:
Our estimate for DeKalb mail at the beginning of the night was Ossoff at 71. He only came in a little bit above. Not going to cut it.
posted by zachlipton at 6:52 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Yep, that Politico error is why people were holding on to see what happened. Truly a staggering mistake. Handel clearly has it.
posted by Justinian at 6:53 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


What I've learned from tonight: Not only do more voters want to be driven off a cliff, they enjoy the sensation of being driven off of a cliff.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:56 PM on June 20 [12 favorites]


As long as "those people" go over the cliff before them
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:57 PM on June 20 [18 favorites]


Remember that all this work easily added thousands of new registered voters and probably hundreds of organizers in Georgia, which is one of those states that is trending liberal, not just for President but for Senate, Governor, and other statewide races. And losing a close race makes people work harder next time, whereas a blowout is disheartening and a win makes you complacent.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:58 PM on June 20 [59 favorites]


8/10 correct but I have waaaay too much time on my hands. One of the very few buzzfeed quizzes I wanted to share on Facebook but the page is not found.
posted by bendy at 6:58 PM on June 20


Scrowdid: Tied you.
posted by greermahoney at 6:58 PM on June 20


Well, the good news is that I'm sure absolutely no one will use the outcome of this election to argue that whatever they've been saying all along is right and true and if only we listened to them.
posted by zachlipton at 7:06 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


Good thing Ossoff did as well as he possibly could have, so there's absolutely nothing to be gained from thinking retrospectively about alternative strategies. And furthermore all election results are imponderable, so we can never learn anything from how they turn out.
posted by chortly at 7:08 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


I literally have no idea what you guys think should or should not have been done!
posted by Justinian at 7:09 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Spending in the race by the campaigns and outside groups has topped $50 million, making it by far the most expensive House contest in U.S. history.
posted by shockingbluamp at 7:10 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


My own feeling is that its clear that Republican voters can simply be counted on to vote much more reliably when a lot of attention is brought to bear. So pouring in outside money will help Rs more than Ds, as evidence by the disparate outcomes in todays races.

Democratic voters often would rather protest than actually vote. Republican voters will vote.

Also, the epic deluge in the democratic areas of GA-06 today didn't help. *shakes fist at the heavens*
posted by Justinian at 7:11 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


I don't care if he overperformed vs. expectations, or vs. other years, or vs. generic dem, or any of that.

I don't care if the guy in Wyoming or Montana overperformed either. Or Kansas. Or anywhere else.

The candidate who comes close does not get to make the laws. Only the candidates who actually win get to make the laws.

So long as we keep coming close but not winning, the laws will be shitty and biased and people will die.

I've listened to all the people saying "oh, well, take this positive from it." Hell, I've been that person.

But tonight, I'm out of fucking hope. I honestly don't think we can ever - EVER - take it back.
posted by anastasiav at 7:13 PM on June 20 [19 favorites]


I don't agree with "ever", anastasiav, but I do think today's result is a big problem. It may well be the death rattle for the ACA.
posted by Justinian at 7:15 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


Also, the epic deluge in the democratic areas of GA-06 today didn't help. *shakes fist at the heavens*

Maybe that's why the GOP doesn't care about stopping climate change.

See also this "joke" from a GOP politician in my native Michigan from a few years ago.
posted by dhens at 7:15 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Democratic voters often would rather protest than actually vote. Republican voters will vote.

It's disgusting that 105,000 Democrats showed up in 2016 to SC-05 and Ralph Norman won this special election with only 44,889 votes. If every Democrat who showed up in 2016 showed up today then Norman would have gone down 2:1.
posted by Talez at 7:16 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


I'm sorry you're going through that, Anastasiav. Truly. But for those of us who can pull it together, we have work to do. Giving up won't help.
posted by greermahoney at 7:20 PM on June 20 [12 favorites]


Last thought; in the absence of the SC result, GA-06 would be seen as a quite bad result for Democrats. It's right on border between what 538 called status-quo expectations and "this is a bad sign for Democrats". But the SC result was much better for Democrats than anticipated. How does that affect how we should view things?

The question is will midterms in 2018 look more like SC-05 or like GA-06? I don't know.
posted by Justinian at 7:21 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


So long as we keep coming close but not winning, the laws will be shitty and biased and people will die.

There have been a handful of Special Elections held in districts where the sitting Republican was picked for Trump's cabinet. The congressmen being replaced were probably chosen precisely because they were in safe seats.

The laws will be shitty and biased and people will die but we have to keep ourselves together for the midterms.
posted by maggiemaggie at 7:23 PM on June 20 [20 favorites]



It's disgusting that 105,000 Democrats showed up in 2016 to SC-05 and Ralph Norman won this special election with only 44,889 votes.


As an American citizen whose delegate has no vote and whose senator does not exist, I propose that I or any of my fellow district residents be permitted to exercise voting rights on behalf of those who have them but don't give a shit about them. So Democrats in states, if you have the logistical ability but can't be bothered to vote because nothing ever changes and it's too hard and what are midterms, I'll fly out there and use your vote. I'll pay for the plane ticket myself. If every DC Democrat who could afford to do that had been allowed to do it, SC would be ours.

since that is not yet permitted, the rest of the country owes us six hundred thousand Democratic votes in elections that matter. please place them wisely.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:25 PM on June 20 [32 favorites]


democrats ruled both houses and the White House in 2008. 9 years ago. The republicans didn't just go crawl in bed and die. Why should we?
posted by ian1977 at 7:26 PM on June 20 [65 favorites]


I think that catastrophic Negative Nancy-ing hurts more than it helps. "We can't ever take it back" slides into "welp, let's just give up." And then it becomes its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Timothy Snyder cautions against obeying in advance. That is what "they" want us to do.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. Democrats' problems go back quite a ways, specifically, I think, focusing too much on the Presidency and not enough on keeping local Democratic offices and party headquarters alive. This Rolling Stone article goes into that somewhat: The 50-state strategy devolved under Obama into a presidential-battleground strategy, leaving state parties starved for cash and leadership. So I think we are starting from behind in so many areas.

I can't find the article that mentions this (it might have been posted on MeFi): Republicans have a get-out-the-vote infrastructure in local Chambers of Commerce and churches. Democrats used to have unions (good) and political machines (mostly bad and corrupt), but now they don't have that. With the special elections, as Glibpaxman notes, voters have been registered and party infrastructure created.

I believe the big thing won't be "chase the swing voters" (who don't exist anymore anyway) but "get out the vote and make sure everyone who can vote, does."
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:28 PM on June 20 [44 favorites]


If you're not from the area, most of GA 6th district is... well it went 70% for GWB. If someone is supposed to represent their district, Karen Handel is like a perfect composite of my worst instincts and biases about much of that area brought to life. Like if you said "Think of someone that lives in Cobb County or north Fulton" I'd think of Karen Handel. This NYT map pretty much shows the areas I go to in blue, and the areas I try not to even go to to shop in red, no kidding. I'm sorry if you live there, I'm sure it's lovely.

So yeah, it's surprising it was this close. And I really think it means something.
posted by bongo_x at 7:28 PM on June 20 [25 favorites]


[Few comments removed. Folks, please, there are other places to go if you are feeling hopeless and desperate.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:29 PM on June 20 [31 favorites]


Why should we?

Honestly? Because our side is basically ethical and we care about fairness. In fact, we bent over backwards to be fair to the other side. The other side, however, extends no such courtesy. We and they are playing by two entirely different sets of rules.

Bear in mind, I've lived under 7 years of Paul LePage. I've seen an up close and personal preview of all this, on a smaller and less deadly scale.
posted by anastasiav at 7:29 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Did people get so hopeless and desperate that we just made jessamyn turn back into a moderator? Because people are pretty damn hopeless and desperate, very much understandably, but I didn't know we had that power.
posted by zachlipton at 7:34 PM on June 20 [88 favorites]


For those truly feeling hopeless and needing to talk, I recommend Crisis Text Line at 741-741. They're experienced in this kind of thing. The average Mefite, although well meaning, is probably not. The right tool for the right task.

Take care of yourselves, friends. And let's be good to each other, tonight, and in the coming days when emotions may be raw.
posted by greermahoney at 7:35 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


Remember, they hate it when we persist.
posted by emjaybee at 7:38 PM on June 20 [23 favorites]


Did people get so hopeless and desperate that we just made jessamyn turn back into a moderator? Because people were pretty damn hopeless and desperate, understandably, but I didn't know we had that power.

Hell, if that's all it would have taken, I would have been more hopeless and desperate far earlier.

j/k i know that's not all it would have taken bc i've been pretty hopeless and desperate for a while now

but! we all have our coping mechanisms! right? i'm not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings

posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:38 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


A 19 point swing nationwide toward the democrats translates to a fairly easy democratic majority in the house. And I suspect that we're just beginning the swing toward the democrats now.
posted by empath at 7:39 PM on June 20 [21 favorites]


What I've learned from tonight: Not only do more voters want to be driven off a cliff, they enjoy the sensation of being driven off of a cliff.

Well, no. Nothing has happened to most people yet. Trump has done very little to affect anyone's daily life, outside of if you're an immigrant or happened to have been charged with a nonviolent drug offense in the last 5 months. He's shredding norms and making us a world laughing stock, and doing all kind of dangerous shit that could lead to war, but Joe Chick-Fil-A in the Atlanta suburbs doesn't care about any of that, and won't until its something that hits him in the pocketbook. Job losses, loss of health coverage, a stock market crash, unfortunately something is going to have to happen to suburban white people to get them to turn on Republicans in enough numbers to win these suburban white districts.

So yes, Trump is hurting Republicans, there's been double digit swings in all of these specials. The trend line is good. But it's not enough to win heavily red districts, and it may never be enough to only go after these districts counting on Romney->Clinton and Clinton/R-incumbent split tickets to cross back over and turn fully against Trump. There's still approximately 12 metric fuck-tons of work to do. The Democratic party is still at least half dead in most of the country. It's going to take more than 5 months to show results, and it's going to take a whole lot of pain for the Joe Chick-Fil-A's of GA-6 to win districts as hostile as that one.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:40 PM on June 20 [34 favorites]


We definitely have to beware of "learned helplessness." Despite the outcome tonight being somewhat unsurprising, I nevertheless take comfort in the fact that both demographic shift and sociopolitical progress continue to whittle away at the Republican stranglehold on the South.

This is not the victory we'd hoped for tonight. But we still have cause to hope for a brighter tomorrow.
posted by darkstar at 7:42 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


Here's how losing is actually winning, let's break it down...
posted by indubitable at 7:42 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


[I an filling in for a few evenings so other mods can go on vacation and.or rest, carry on.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:43 PM on June 20 [88 favorites]


Here's how losing an election isn't the same as an Heironymius Bosch painting come to life, let's break it down.
posted by ian1977 at 7:47 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


Here's how losing is actually winning, let's break it down...

An uninspiring Third Way candidate with no name recognition running a first time campaign couldn't win a seat that just voted for Trump by 23 points. All is lost.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:47 PM on June 20 [45 favorites]


A 19 point swing nationwide toward the democrats translates to a fairly easy democratic majority in the house. And I suspect that we're just beginning the swing toward the democrats now.

Yes, because everyone hasn't soured on Trump yet, and they will. He's not going to win anyone back, he's not going to turn it around, and neither are Congressional Republicans from the looks of things. It's a huge shift and it's not going to get better for them.

We didn't get the come from behind upset. That wasn't a given. But if Republicans are comfortable with today's results they are even more deluded than I think.
posted by bongo_x at 7:48 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


But if Republicans are comfortable with today's results they are even more deluded than I think.

Not only that, but republicans losing today would be a huge narrative that would have energized the republicans more than the democrats I think. Then winning might just equal a smidge more complacency on their part.
posted by ian1977 at 7:51 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff on Tuesday. Trump tweeted his congratulations to Handel on her "big win," saying "we are all very proud of you."
posted by otto42 at 7:52 PM on June 20


So I live in North Fulton, bongo_x. With my same-sex husband in a suburban house in the woods with deer and foxes and fire ants and a garden and our fluffy mutt. And we like it. One neighbor is an old hippie with an Ossoff sign like ours and the other neighbor is a grumpy, retired psychiatrist with a Handel sign. It's a nice community and a lot of the Republicans that I have encountered vote that way because they always have and because they're not as plugged in as we are and just don't know what's been going on in DC. They go to church with other people that vote that way, they watch a little Fox News in the doctor's lounge at work, and that's that.

Or that's how it was until last Fall.

I moved here four years ago. I wanted to work in the city, but there weren't any jobs for me there, so we moved OTP and I took a job that was as close as I could to the city center. At first, I was afraid to discuss any political topics with colleagues and patients. But after November, there has been a palpable shift in not only how engaged the average person I encounter seems to be, but in how willing they seem to be to acknowledge that voting straight R may not be in their best interest anymore.

I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say. i think it's that I agree with you. This result was so incredibly disheartening tonight but I'm trying to find solace in the fact that on an anecdotal level there seems to have been a major shift in the way that Republicans and former Republicans feel about what's going on at the national level and I think that the results tonight showed that trend.
posted by robstercraw at 7:55 PM on June 20 [48 favorites]


Don't forget to include Russian meddling and voter suppression and possible collision with foreign governments in your overly simple equation.

That the response for many Dems is "but they cheated" is kinda the point of that comment, I think.
posted by atoxyl at 8:02 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Here's a perspective from a young Muslim living in GA-06:
Jon Ossoff came to my mosque Friday. He didnt try to win our vote, he just had a professional camera crew taking pics of him with hijabis.

Ossoff didn't really need to promise anything or work for our vote bc all the petty bourgeois Brown Muslim Americans were fawning over him.

He didn't explain his policies. Just that we should have our phones out already before we approach him for pics to expedite the process.

He also came into our mosque w two huge bodyguards who were very clear with mosque-goers about how we are allowed to approach ~🌟Jon Ossoff🌟~

He didn't promise that he'd stand against "anti-terrorism" legislation which surveils Muslim communities and entraps youth in terror plots

He didn't promise to stand against legislation which makes nonviolent resistance (Boycott/Divestment of Israeli goods and services) illegal.

He didn't promise to stand w grassroots working against gentrification. There's a mosque 5 minutes from turner field, set to be displaced.

Jon Ossoff basically told us 2 things.
1. Vote for me because "Trump"
2. Have your phones already out for pics, we only have 5 minutes left.
posted by indubitable at 8:07 PM on June 20 [91 favorites]


We're not actually losing out on anything by not having Osseff in Congress, the win opportunity here was the chance to move the media narrative.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:10 PM on June 20 [18 favorites]


I was better braced for this than for November, and so it hurts less. I think we all need to toughen up a bit and stop expecting there to be One Crazy Election Result that will fix the huge crisis we are in. There is no precedent for what is happening (other than human beings are inventive at fuckwaddery), but that also means we can't assume we know what will happen and that we should just give up and wait for the end.

We would be foolish not to talk about possible vote tampering--it's not whining to wonder if a hostile government that has already attacked our system will continue to do so, with the collusion of a party that has shown itself disturbingly willing to make that devil's bargain for tax cuts. We need to loudly demand more transparency and security of voting machines/counts and make a lot of noise about it. Hopefully all the votes tonight were legit and Russia had nothing to do with the outcome, but that doesn't mean we should be complacent about them wanting to manipulate things.
posted by emjaybee at 8:10 PM on June 20 [18 favorites]


Wowwwwwww on that comment.

In other news, can we get jessamyn a "substituteteacher" tag or something just for fun?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:11 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


I won't lie, having grown up in the Atlanta area I didn't really expect much out of the GA-06 election, if only because a large part of the district contains the rotten pustule of white christian shittiness that is Cobb County.

It's the county that gleefully lynched Leo Frank. It didn't want to join the regional mass transit system because it was afraid of things "getting too dark". It's the district that bequeathed us the chthonic monstrosity that is Newt Gingrich. It's the county that celebrated when the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay had to be rerouted around it because a gay person might have touched the torch. It's the county that happily stuck stickers denying evolution on its science textbooks. Also, they just robbed Atlanta of the Braves.

Fuck Cobb. North Fulton's okay, though.

Also, yeah, I suppose making it competitive is nice, though.
posted by anem0ne at 8:13 PM on June 20 [19 favorites]


The party was initially extremely skittish about getting involved in Georgia in any big way. As I saw it, it was mainly a lot of newly activated folks of the Indivisible mold, who started looking at the upcoming special elections after November and agitating to fight. That's where all the small dollar donations for Ossoff from California came from.

Around that time, there was some pushback, a sense from the party that they couldn't get too invested because they'd lose and people would get discouraged and they wouldn't refill the party's coffers after the race. And the fired-up-and-ready-to-go resistance said "no we got this. Win or lose, we need this fight and we'll keep fighting no matter what." And then the party got on board and the money poured in, forcing the Republicans to do the same.

My point with all of this is that you're proving the naysayers right if you think all hope is lost now and you use this to check out from the process, from fighting. Sure, the end of the last thread may be a warmer place right now, but what was the point in campaigning in Georgia at all if this is the end of the line for you? How do you argue that the Democratic Party needs to be fighting everywhere, but then declare all hope is lost when risky races don't go your way? If you thought this was the fight we needed to have in the first place, then don't prove the party brass right by using this as your excuse to give up.
posted by zachlipton at 8:15 PM on June 20 [83 favorites]


And when the morning light comes streaming in
We'll get up and do it again
Get it up again
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


I never could understand why Jon Ossoff got so much fawning attention, aside from the fact that GA-06 looked slightly winnable, when candidates like James Thompson in Kansas and Archie Parnell in SC were really so great at getting out and mixing it up with the people and appearing genuine. I hope they both run in the midterms (it looks like James Thompson is definitely running again).
posted by maggiemaggie at 8:19 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


How do you argue that the Democratic Party needs to be fighting everywhere, but then declare all hope is lost when risky races don't go your way?
Sweet Christ, thank you for saying this. All the New Indivisibles cutting lengths of rope to wrap around their necks over GA-06 are useless to the party if their enthusiasm can be stamped out by losing one very risky and unlikely race with a poor candidate. It's time to dust ourselves off, do a postmortem, and figure out what we can do to attract good, electable candidates to the Democratic bench and help them win elections.
posted by xyzzy at 8:28 PM on June 20 [90 favorites]


What's preventing the Democratic noise machine from yelling and screaming about "Death Panels" and "Taking away Grandma's Nursing Home" and "Freedom to Die in a Ditch"?

The gutting of Medicaid under AHCA is going to take away Grandma's nursing home, and the sooner voters know about it the better.
posted by msalt at 8:30 PM on June 20 [11 favorites]


May I helpfully suggest future DCCC email blasts become less crazy in the future. Maybe it gets clicks, but it may not get voters to polls.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:35 PM on June 20 [15 favorites]


Ossoff was a terrible candidate. I spent my fair share of evenings phone banking and even drove up there (I live about 6 hrs south of GA6) to knock on doors on a few weekends because I feel some type of solidarity with any liberal movement in the south, but there is no way this guy was going to win. A liberal lanyard-wearer with no real ties to the community will not defeat a Republican in the South. It will not happen. Down here we need economic populism, preferably tied to Christianity. It's the only thing that will get the 50 percent of people who don't vote out to the polls. Democrats seem unable to understand this.

I'm glad me and my fellow DSA comrades gritted our teeth and campaigned for this jar of mayonnaise (if only to stave off "Bernie or Bust" accusations) but holy shit does it feel bad to dedicate a lot of time to a candidate that you're not enthusiastic about and then have him lose.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 8:36 PM on June 20 [47 favorites]


I'm thinking of a sports movie metaphor, where the scrappy underdog keeps getting his ass kicked but keeps coming back better. Rocky III, maybe? We need to eat more raw eggs and run up some steps and punch sides of beef and stuff to get stronger.
posted by emjaybee at 8:37 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Okay, fine, you're right everybody. I'm not a New Indivisible I don't think (wasn't that a Grant Morrison book?) but I admit I was really hoping for Ossoff to win and I'm saddened that he didn't. But to be honest I think it was just the prospect of a win when it feels like we've had nothing positive happen for so long.

But I get it, a +19 swing in GA *is* a positive thing, and there will be more positive things coming. I'll buck up and keep fighting. I just... needed a moment, is all.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 8:37 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


GA-06 is a pretty expensive win. Not sure how often that much can be spent.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:37 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I've noticed, in my long-distance social groups, much less attentiveness to the incessant, daily/hourly splugh of fuckall exploding from the Trump administration. I'll mention some random story from these threads and hear their eyes widen in disbelief, followed by a version of stunned silence and some iteration of "who thought it would be so bad".

"Like, all of them?" I want to say. "Literally everyone who watched 10 minutes or more of his campaign?"

The corporate news media is not working still. They seem pretty ready to do something but, management has a total lockdown on telling it like it is. And that has to change before anything else. David Brooks spluttering up half a culpa on his Clinton Deranging years ain't gonna get it.
posted by petebest at 8:38 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


It's time to dust ourselves off, do a postmortem, and figure out what we can do to attract good, electable candidates to the Democratic bench and help them win elections.

Amen! You know when I'll give up? When I'm dead.

Which admittedly, with Trumpcare may be sooner than otherwise, but...
posted by greermahoney at 8:40 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


lol the emails. Being on the Ossoff email list was like the general election all over again (I just tuned them out because they went straight to my "promos" bucket). Like 8 emails a day with the most ridiculous subject lines. Every Democratic campaign seems to run with this same email strategy (it's not just Ossoff, just to be clear that I'm not really feeling the Ossoff pile on right at the mo' but I'll critique this email nonsense any time).

Is it like this if you donate to a Republican? Do they start blowing up your inbox with "CRUSHING DEFEAT!!!! j/k j/k the election is like three weeks away still"?
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:41 PM on June 20 [20 favorites]


A victory would have been great, but the nature of the Republican win reveals their electoral weakness. The Republicans primarily funded their campaign from PACs and party committees rather than individual contributions, and used all the benefits of incumbency to promote their candidate. They could do that for a special election, but their party reserves aren't unlimited and they won't be able to have Trump, Pence, Ryan, and Perdue showing up to bolster every midterm campaign. Trump's approval continues to fall, so that's a diminishing resource; and their resources will be more thinly spread in a general election. All things considered, 2018 is looking good.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:41 PM on June 20 [11 favorites]


GA-06 is a pretty expensive win. Not sure how often that much can be spent.

DCCC IE spent almost $5 million on GA-06, compared with $340,000 combined on MT-AL, KS-04, SC-05 (all on Quist)
posted by indubitable at 8:41 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I always donate and then immediately opt out of any further emails.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:42 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


So I'm usually the first to be devastated by bad election results but not about this one. Maybe because I was expecting it? Dude was the only Democrat in the very well-publicized primary and he got 48%; maybe that's just his ceiling.

The South Carolina race, on the other hand, is THRILLING. With 100% reporting, the Democrat only lost by 3.2%!
posted by lalex at 8:42 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


In 2009, Republicans lost all 7 of the House special elections. We all know what happened in the 2010 midterms.
posted by chris24 at 8:42 PM on June 20 [34 favorites]


Thank you, R.F.Simpson, (and everyone else) for your hard work. Thank you thank you thank you. You give me hope in dark times.
posted by greermahoney at 8:42 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


I never could understand why Jon Ossoff got so much fawning attention

Karen Handel.

I guess we're going to start the self hating part of the program now.
posted by bongo_x at 8:43 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


So, here are the results for the other two SC specials:

* HD-48 - GOP hold as Bryant wins, 61-39. This seat was unopposed in 2016; in 2014, the GOP won 73-27, so about a 12 point improvement vs that.

* HD-70 - Dem hold as Brawley wins, 78-22. This seat was unopposed in both 2016 and 2014.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:47 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


I think that the sooner we Democrats/Pogressives stop regarding this as a movie narrative where the designated hero can overcome all odds in a climactic victory, and look at it as an extended war, the better.

There won't be a white knight who will give us one decisive victory; this is going to be a long, extended slog with a lot of defeats, and progress measured in trend lines. The Republicans have known this, and they've followed this plan for forty years. So this war won't be settled in 2018 or even 2020. It's going to be going on for the rest of my life. So it's time to dig in, and for now, fight defensively.
posted by happyroach at 8:51 PM on June 20 [87 favorites]


There won't be a white knight who will give us one decisive victory;

No, I've learned from the internet that it has to be just the right candidate. You don't want to go supporting just anyone.
posted by bongo_x at 8:55 PM on June 20 [12 favorites]


All we need is a candidate more charming and intelligent and accomplished and inspiring than Obama and Clinton and Sanders combined.

We need a liberal Serpentor.
posted by ian1977 at 9:06 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


God forbid we blame the candidate for losing the election.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 9:08 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


In other news the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is reporting on its official Twitter that the Saudi deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has just been promoted to crown prince and will also keep his post as Defence Minister in what many are calling a "soft coup". From what I can see MSB, as he is known, is a pro-Trump, anti-Iran hardliner. He is said to be headstrong; a risk-taker and has been in charge of the war against Yemen. What does this mean? Max Fisher from the New York Times says this will worsen regional proxy wars. He also tweeted that this ' is, about 100,000x more significant than GA-6. No, I am not worried, not at all, no, not being worried...
posted by vac2003 at 9:11 PM on June 20 [24 favorites]


Here's a perspective from a young Muslim living in GA-06:

So I'm explicitly not saying that this guy is wrong or not entitled to feel annoyed at how this campaign event went down, but there's a huge double standard between Democratic and Republican politicians here.

I have never once read a tweetstorm that was all "Marty Republican came to my country club Friday. He didnt try to win our vote, he just had a professional camera crew taking pics of him with rich white dudes. Marty didn't really need to promise anything or work for our vote bc all the petty small business owners were fawning over him. He didn't promise he agrees with 100% of the things that are important to me, even as he used my community for a photo-op. All he said was vote for me because "Nancy Pelosi" and have your checkbooks out for donations."

This doesn't happen because Republicans reliably sit down and vote for the candidate with the R next to their name without regard for a purity test or a need to feel suitably excited about the candidate first. (There is, of course, an exception to what I'm saying here, which is the 2016 Presidential election, where Trump did need to excite a few tens of thousands of people in PA, MI, and OH sufficiently.) It's just the accepted narrative for every election so much that we never question it: "will the Democrat get enough young people to turn out? Will the Democrat get enough people of color to actually vote? Will the Democrat keep the far left excited enough that they'll care?" Every single time in a competitive race, the burden is on the Democrat to pull off the impossible, to be as inspiring as Barack Obama and build the perfect coalition of voters. While all the Republican is expected to do is rant about Nancy Pelosi and socialism while seeking to spread gloom and depress turnout so that young people and people of color don't find the race interesting enough to actually vote.

And while it's great for democracy that candidates in competitive races have to earn our votes, that we can't be taken for granted, it usually seems that standard that only applies to the Democrat in the race. And it's annoying as hell.

Anyway, the fight now is health care. There's this huge disconnect between the excellent policy reporting health care and Congressional reporters are doing and the actual awareness of the situation that most vaguely-aware-of-the-news people have. I feel that many people have some general idea that Congress is messing around fighting about Obamacare, but have no actual idea that we're on the verge of 22 million people losing their insurance, Medicaid slashed, tax credits stripped away, premium hikes that will make coverage completely unafforable for older Americans, benefit cuts and policies like lifetime limits coming back, etc... So if you're feeling discouraged about tonight, maybe go find a few people you know who don't keep their eye on a special Tweetdeck list of health care reporters (I'm told that's 99.999% of the country) and let them know this stuff is happening like next week. Ask them to give their Senators a call, perhaps spread the word a bit. Not enough people are outraged about this right now, so share your outrage a bit, and maybe we can distribute it more evenly.
posted by zachlipton at 9:11 PM on June 20 [63 favorites]


[Several deleted, crank it back, guys.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:20 PM on June 20


Anyway, the fight now is health care.

More from that famous Time Machine (via a team of Politico reporters): “11 times Republicans said [the] Obamacare process was too secretive.”

Plus they left out this one, which Johnny Wallflower mentioned in an earlier thread.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:22 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


Data Security Firm UpGuard reports: The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak "In what is the largest known data exposure of its kind, UpGuard’s Cyber Risk Team can now confirm that a misconfigured database containing the sensitive personal details of over 198 million American voters was left exposed to the internet by a firm working on behalf of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in their efforts to elect Donald Trump. The data, which was stored in a publicly accessible cloud server owned by Republican data firm Deep Root Analytics, included 1.1 terabytes of entirely unsecured personal information compiled by DRA and at least two other Republican contractors, TargetPoint Consulting, Inc. and Data Trust. In total, the personal information of potentially near all of America’s 200 million registered voters was exposed, including names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details, as well as data described as “modeled” voter ethnicities and religions."

I can only hope the 1.1 terabytes has been delivered to the DNC.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:29 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


So I'm explicitly not saying that this guy is wrong or not entitled to feel annoyed at how this campaign event went down, but there's a huge double standard between Democratic and Republican politicians here.

What you have diagnosed is not a "double standard" but standard white supremacy.

Yes, the white folks at the country club don't need the Republican to do the work, because everybody knows what side they're on.

When a white person comes to a black or brown space as a campaign stop … hell yes they need to do the work! They have to convince folks that they aren't taking the vote for granted, that they will truly work to be a representative of that constituency and actively work for the critical causes and issues.

In the context of the comment that you're quoting, yours is hard to not tl;dr as "brown folks, sit down and vote Dem".


Also, hell YES we ("we") have different standard than the Republicans! We are working for a world for all people, and that is hard as fuck and demands lots of sticky political work. They ("they") are working for a world for themselves, and it's SO MUCH EASIER to get people to vote for that. You find someone who looks like you and you look them in their eyes and say "don't worry, I'll protect you from the things you fear."

I'm so so glad we're not taking that road: though the alternative route is much longer, and more difficult, it leads toward a world where we all have a place, and where we all can thrive.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:41 PM on June 20 [53 favorites]


And to be a little circumspect, I'm going to make a stock market analogy. No really, it's going to be awesome. Don't leave!

Pinning macro expectations on tonight's outcome is like pinning your investment hopes on a stock's daily performance. You want to invest in the underlying fundamentals of the stock (or company, really) that you're purchasing, because though it may rise and fall in the short term, it should consistently rise in the long term, if the fundamentals are sound.

Let's turn to the adverse case in this analogy. The Republican party has terrible fundamentals. They basically want to "govern" the majority of Americans straight into an early grave. They have no imagination, no ability to lead, nothing but the grift. And Donald J. Trump? He's not going to stop fucking this endeavor up. Ever. I'll set my clock by his continued ability to sow chaos into the Executive, until he no longer occupies it. The guy's going to continue to be a train wreck. Because that's who he is.

So yeah, the roller coaster's still going to go up and down on a day-to-day basis. But for me, I'm trying to tune out the hype of the day—as best I can in this insanity—in favor of focusing on the long term, the fundamentals. My faith rests on the fact that a) this clown car full of ass hats has nothing to offer, and b) they're fucking terrible at obscuring that fact. So we have to keep pushing, everywhere we can, to support opposing candidates who a) do have something to offer, and b) can reliably point out that we're being governed by a clown car full of ass hats, top to bottom.

It's a leap of faith, but I believe that the rest will work itself out. Reality has a way of winning in the end. And the reality is that the Republican party seems increasingly unable to mask the fact that they're useless.
posted by Brak at 9:42 PM on June 20 [20 favorites]


I have never once read a tweetstorm that was all "Marty Republican came to my country club Friday. He didnt try to win our vote,

There are important differences between what a Republican country club member has to lose if a candidate ignores his immediate concerns vs. what a Muslim-American has to lose if her concerns are ignored.

One side is literally fighting for their lives; the other side is fighting for a slightly lower tax rate.
posted by straight at 9:57 PM on June 20 [23 favorites]


The Ossoff-Parnell Lesson: Stop Chasing Romney Voters
The lesson of the special elections around the country is clear: Democratic House candidates can dramatically outperform Clinton in deep red rural areas by running ideological, populist campaigns rooted in progressive areas. Poorer working class voters who pulled the lever for Trump can be swayed back to the left in surprisingly large numbers—perhaps not enough to win in places like Kansas, Montana and South Carolina, but certainly in other more welcoming climes. Nor is there a need to subvert Democratic principles of social justice in order to accomplish this: none of the Democrats who overperformed Clinton’s numbers in these districts curried favor with bigots in order to accomplish it.

But candidates like Clinton and Ossoff who try to run inoffensive and anti-ideological campaigns in an attempt to win over supposedly sensible, wealthier, bourgeois suburban David-Brooks-reading Republican Romney voters will find that they lose by surprisingly wide margins. There is no Democrat so seemingly non-partisan that Romney Republicans will be tempted to cross the aisle in enough numbers to make a difference.

posted by T.D. Strange at 10:03 PM on June 20 [43 favorites]


It's a leap of faith, but I believe that the rest will work itself out. Reality has a way of winning in the end. And the reality is that the Republican party seems increasingly unable to mask the fact that they're useless.

Well, they control the House, Senate, Presidency, Supreme Court, a large majority of state offices, and are 4/4 in special elections this year. It's not lack of faith or defeatism to say that their strategies have worked pretty darn well, and that it may be time to think about making some significant changes to our own.
posted by chortly at 10:07 PM on June 20 [13 favorites]


Hah. Tom Porter, Newsweek: Pornhub says Washington D.C. Stopped Watching Porn During Comey Testimony [Warning: video autoplay]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:21 PM on June 20 [34 favorites]


Democrats Still Struggle to Overcome Their Right-Wing Propaganda Problem
If Democrats actually did better in the race that didn't get national attention, I worry that it means Democrats struggle to overcome the relentless, 24/7/365 demonization of their party in the right-wing media, which is basically the mainstream media in much of white America. The South Carolina race was ignored by the rest of the country, which means that allegedly nasty nationwide Democrats were never a factor.

In Georgia, Handel voters weren't voting against Ossoff -- they were voting against evil coast-dwellers from New York and Massachusetts and California. They were voting against Nancy Pelosi, history's greatest monster. Watch this: [...]

Ossoff was attacked for getting too much money from outside Georgia -- as noted in the attack ad above, which was paid for by the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is, um, not Georgia-based. Neither are the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican National Committee, which contributed massive amounts of money to elect Handel (more than comparable national Democratic organizations). [...]

Democrats don't recognize this GOP propaganda tsunami as a problem. And no, Republicans don't have an identical problem with Democratic voters, because certain Republicans can win in virtually any Democratic state: Governor Charlie Baker in Massachusetts (and many GOP governors before him, including Mitt Romney and Bill Weld). Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg in New York City. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California not long ago. Governor Larry Hogan in Maryland. Most Democratic voters think these Republicans are ... different. (See also Senator Susan Collins in Maine, or Governor John Kasich in Ohio.)

Democrats, by contrast, are nearly always seen to have liberalism cooties. It's a problem that needs to be dealt with.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:25 PM on June 20 [62 favorites]


They ("they") are working for a world for themselves, and it's SO MUCH EASIER to get people to vote for that.

this is the weirdest perspective. "these people want to kill you, help me stop them" is an awful lot more motivating to me than "I want to kill these people, help me do it because we're pals." I am not even number one on their list of people they would like to kill, but I sure am on there. What is easier to appeal to than terror and self-preservation?

but I am a consistent and regular "voter" so what the fuck do I know about the minds of the people. I did what I could to help Darcy Burner shove Dave Reichert out of the House, ten-plus years ago. like Jon Ossoff, she was good enough for anybody seriously weighing the candidates against each other on their positions and on their relative merits. but she wasn't great. and she failed, for that and assorted other reasons. I have all the time in the world to listen to valid critiques and complaints but when you have an entitled smug white boy on one side and KAREN HANDEL on the other there are two easy choices (whether or not to vote, and whom to vote for.) I do very much appreciate that being unhappy with some smug prick does not equal refusing to vote for him. and I also very much appreciate that voting for someone doesn't mean you have to lie for him or be nice about him. but everybody fucking vote for these jerks these next two-three-four years, my god. I want to live.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:25 PM on June 20 [28 favorites]


It's not lack of faith or defeatism to say that their strategies have worked pretty darn well, and that it may be time to think about making some significant changes to our own.

I agree that it works/worked up to a point. To continue my stock market analogy, so did credit default swaps. Until they didn't.

The Republicans control the government at this point, on a strategy that conned voters into believing that Democrats were the ones obstructing their "agenda". That trick is all but used up. Correction is inevitable, and will be precipitated with proper work.

And I didn't stress the work aspect in my post, as much as I should have. It's still the key to success. And I agree that it involves a change to the status quo opposition that Democrats have fielded to date. Though the shrinking of margins in Georgia are noteworthy and commendable, Ossoff was still a far-from-ideal candidate to run for a real chance of winning the seat. Better candidates will help move the needle even further. GOTV will help as well. Applied pressure on all fronts is going to move the needle. Because it's going to become more apparent that Republicans as a party do not care about the best interests of the majority of Americans.

That's my leap of faith. It's what keeps me going back into the fray, despite the short-term setbacks.
posted by Brak at 10:33 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I know this may be cold comfort, but I think this is actually the best case for the Democratic Party. If the Republicans had lost, they would be forced to take the threat seriously, now, instead of just kicking the can down the road a whole. Their Come to Jesus moment didn't come, and now they think they don't have to change for the 2018 election. But now, with their win, they think they're safe and can handle this in the normal way. The Democrats are consequentially going to clean up in 2018.
posted by corb at 10:52 PM on June 20 [20 favorites]


But candidates like Clinton and Ossoff who try to run inoffensive and anti-ideological campaigns in an attempt to win over supposedly sensible, wealthier, bourgeois suburban David-Brooks-reading Republican Romney voters will find that they lose by surprisingly wide margins.

Clinton lost by the surprisingly wide margin of -3million! I admit that was a surprising margin to lose by, but I don't think that's what Atkins meant...
posted by Justinian at 10:53 PM on June 20 [37 favorites]


Note that I do think chasing supposed moderate Republicans is a fool's errand, but the rewriting of the election results as some sort of massive blowout offends me.

But there is no such thing as a moderate Republican. There are people who are comfortable with being identified with evil, racist, and classist views and policies and people who are uncomfortable with being identified with evil, racist, and classist views and policies but vote for them anyway. It's not the comfortable part I care about, it's the views and policies.

Those people are not going to vote for you because you point out those views are terrible. They secretly know that.
posted by Justinian at 10:58 PM on June 20 [28 favorites]


The news about Georgia is sad, but not unexpected. The news about the new Saudi crown Prince is both unexpected and very bad news if you're fond of Qatar.

The blockade is now in week three. There have been no viable, rational excuses for the blockade. We have 10k forces there, and associated personnel. It is our most functional land base in the region, for both sea and air, since we don't use the Saudi bases anymore.

Russia is getting punchy. Turkey is getting punchy. Iraq and Syria are powder kegs.

We are poised on the precipice of a something dark and scary. The new crown Prince is who kicked off this Qatar standoff, because of Russian planted fake stories. And he's already bribed our idiot in Chief with a shiny bauble, who always believes what his handlers tell him via Fox.

With Qatar blockaded, Palestinians are starting to run out of money, because a lot of territory operations are paid for by countries like Qatar and Jordon, and uses the Qatar banking system, iirc. Hunger in Palestine will lead to riots. Riots will lead to an IDF response, which may be enough to trigger Iran.

This escalation by the Saudis would make me nervous if rational humans were in control of the vast majority of players, but that isn't true. Hell, y'all, I can't think of even a handful of rational actors in leadership positions in that region right now. Including us. Fuck, especially us.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 11:07 PM on June 20 [64 favorites]


The whole thing is weird. The idea that the Left will win when all the correct people run for office at the same time, on a platform most don't support or understand, THEN all the people will rise up and vote for them realizing the error of their ways, and until then we will just be governed by the Right. I wonder if there's going to stirring strings playing in the background.

Democrats are going to come back in power, and it will be because Republicans imploded, and it will be moderate voters that do it. So they will have the power.
posted by bongo_x at 11:13 PM on June 20 [13 favorites]


A 50 million dollar election, evenly split I hear. They sure spent a lot of money to keep a red seat. And there was a 19 point swing? A Pyrrhic victory.
posted by adept256 at 11:18 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


[A couple deleted. bitterlyfightingforeverandeverandeverandeveraboutclinton.com is probably still available. just sayin'. ]
posted by taz at 11:19 PM on June 20 [82 favorites]


I love you, mods. You make me laugh even whilst scolding us.
posted by greermahoney at 11:22 PM on June 20 [19 favorites]


The question is will midterms in 2018 look more like SC-05 or like GA-06? I don't know.
If they look like either it will be a blue house.
posted by fullerine at 11:32 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


If they look like either it will be a blue house.

To quote my yiddish Grandma- "from your lips to gods ears!"
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:34 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


There are important differences between what a Republican country club member has to lose if a candidate ignores his immediate concerns vs. what a Muslim-American has to lose if her concerns are ignored.

That's absolutely true, and I minimized that to a somewhat absurd degree. But this is also a situation where there are two candidates in the race, and disengaging because your interests, important as they are, haven't been addressed enough is still making a choice; you're choosing to let other people vote for you and you have to live under whatever they decide.

And that puts people in really sucky situations. If you came to see the 2016 race as Hillary "Superpredator" Clinton vs Donald "black guys counting my money! I hate it" Trump or GA-06 as one candidate who uses you for a photo op without caring about your community vs one candidate with ads that scaremonger with ISIS fighters, it's not hard to see why you'd become discouraged, why not voting seems like just as valid as an option because neither candidate has earned your vote, neither candidate seems like they'll represent your interests, that the outcome isn't going to matter to you.

(Based on a perusal of his twitter, the "young Muslim living in GA-06" appears to have one particular issue that he cares passionately about, and short of "Ossoff should have an entirely different position on that issue," I'm not sure there's any middle ground there.)

But my point shouldn't have been that specific marginalized groups need to "sit down and vote Dem," but that everyone needs to vote, period, and vote for whoever they think is the least crappy candidate. Then, if you hate the candidate you just had to vote for, wake up the next day and commit to lighting a fire under their ass, commit to working in your community so that there are better choices next time. Which, yes, is yet another burden on people in marginalized communities. But as awful as some elected Democrats can be on many important issues, there are still certain really clear differences between the parties (one of them DGAF if 23 million people have health insurance next year, for example), and unless the electoral system changes somehow, one party or the other is still going to be in power with or without your vote. And it's hard to convince candidates that they should fight for your vote if you don't use it.

This is the debate right now in the Democratic party. Do you keep running campaigns filled with carefully calculated blandness to chase after a handful of arguably persuadable purple votes in the middle, the kinds of people who voted Obama in '08 but Romney in '12, or do you conclude that those folks are massive wastes of time and focus solely on getting new and disengaged voters to actually show up? As we've just flushed millions down the toilet demonstrating, you can't do both at the same time. But the cold political calculation comes down to which group is more fickle, and the consultants and the party brass keep coming back to the middle. We're stuck in this vicious cycle of viciousness where disengaged voters don't turn out for uninspiring campaigns, but we don't get inspiring campaigns because people don't think disengaged voters will turn out, because they don't, because the campaigns are uninspiring, and on it goes.

And this insistence that campaigns be suitably inspiring masks that truly inspiring once-in-a-generation political talent only comes along so often, that inspiring campaigns often don't make for equally inspiring politicians once they're in office, and it's often used as code for "didn't push for my preferred policies." Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and yes, Donald Trump were all incredibly inspiring to significant groups of voters for different reasons. Were there 10,000 people who stayed home in GA-06 and would have turned out if Ossoff pushed for single payer health care? If he had, would 1,000 folks on the fence have shaken their head and said "ugh, that's Nancy Pelosi socialism" (sidenote: Pelosi doesn't support single payer; we've been asking her to) and gone for Handel, who says "Obamacare is the single biggest intrusion into the lives of Americans in decades?" I don't have an answer to that question, but I'm suitably skeptical of anyone who thinks the answer is that it would have been an obvious Ossoff win.

Democrats should have to earn every vote and shouldn't take any voters for granted. Every candidate should. But it's deeply frustrating that, even in the most basic narratives we use to describe elections, Republicans are never expected to do the same.
posted by zachlipton at 11:40 PM on June 20 [46 favorites]


What if politicians began talking about what they actually believe? What if they actually engaged with people at town halls, both listening to their needs and explaining the stuff that people need to understand when they vote? What if they did their jobs? I know, some do, but too many don't even try.
Today, the electorate is seen by many politicians as the customer base, the political issues as goods to be sold and instead of trying to convince us that their political platform is legitimate and good using arguments, the politicians are doing market analysis on us so they can target us with appealing slogans. The parties are seen as brands to be managed rather than organizations where political debates are held, and maintaining the brand is all important. In short, our leaders are not leading, they are following.
Back in the day when politicians had convictions, the maturing you went through was to accept that even if representative A didn't share your each and every passion, she was the most likely to work for most of your political aims. Now maturing is to realize that party X starves less grannies than party Y, so you have to vote to keep party Y out of business. If your own granny is starving regardless, that might not be a strong motivator.
On the other side: it is not at all strange that white middle class voters vote more. Voting is participation, albeit at the lowest level, and if you feel you are part of society you also feel you have to vote. It can seem strange that people who pay very little in taxes or who are receiving welfare benefits consistently vote for lower taxes and less benefits, but we all know what that is about.
IMO, the real task for the Dems is to get all their potential voters to feel it makes sense for them to participate, because they are part of society. Then maybe some districts would be a bit more left leaning and some a bit more right leaning, it wouldn't matter that much. The real problem is that millions of people feel they have no stake in society at any level and that these people are the core constituency of the Democratic Party.
posted by mumimor at 1:13 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


"The stakes are higher for me, and that's why I don't vote" is not an argument that makes any sense to me.

If you have a lot to lose, why on earth would you fold? Even if you got dealt a bad hand, a bad candidate, you play it out. Because you are invested, and you can't afford to give up.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:27 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


even in the most basic narratives we use to describe elections, Republicans are never expected to do the same.

Republicans just want to win whereas Democrats not only want to win, they want to win the correct way with the correct person. The head of the Republican Party right now is literally a coastal elite billionaire with an immigrant wife and he mumbles platitudes about religion but you'd have to be pretty delusional to think he believes in anything other than himself. Yet he's the head of the party of REAL AMERICA that hates immigrants and loves Jesus because they don't care so long as he does what they want.

In the meantime, the left and the Democrats are picking over the bones of Hillary Clinton's campaign, which largely came down to not really whether she'd do what they want but whether, deep down in her heart of hearts, she really believed it.

But I think in a larger sense it's easier if your entire message is "The system is broken so let's burn it all down," because all you care about is who is bringing the torches and gasoline. Whereas if your sentiment is "Okay the system is great, let's build a much better one," you're posing a much more complicated question that's hard to soundbite.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:39 AM on June 21 [49 favorites]


Hah. Tom Porter, Newsweek: Pornhub says Washington D.C. Stopped Watching Porn During Comey Testimony [Warning: video autoplay]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus


eponanisterical
posted by progosk at 2:02 AM on June 21 [41 favorites]


I think you mean "epornysterical"
posted by taz at 2:18 AM on June 21 [29 favorites]


eh...I thought it was a subtle acknowledgement of all the wankers (a.k.a. onanists) in D.C.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 3:02 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Hah. Tom Porter, Newsweek: Pornhub says Washington D.C. Stopped Watching Porn During Comey Testimony

No they didn't. They just watched their porn on CSPAN instead of Pornhub.
posted by Rykey at 3:20 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


[disruption of election via ways] for the purpose of influencing our election – plain and simple. Now, the key question for the President and Congress is: what are we going to do to protect the American people and their democracy from this kind of thing in the future?

And how should the rest of the world react, along with Americans, when the program of Gladio and Gladio 2 was reveled to the world?

People actually DIED in the Gladio election manipulation events.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:26 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


This escalation by the Saudis would make me nervous

Remember also that the Saudis are wanting/building nuke plants.

The whole 1950's "peaceful atom" was a way to prevent people from saying:

Ya build these water-style reactors because you want material for atomic weapons.

Do having your own nukes make for good neighbors? I'm guessing we'll 1st find out with North Korea.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:40 AM on June 21


Republicans don't care who their candidates are because Republicanism isn't an ideology, it's an identity.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:59 AM on June 21 [31 favorites]


The gutting of Medicaid under AHCA is going to take away Grandma's nursing home, [forcing her to spend away your inheritance and meaning she comes to live with you after all the money is gone] , and the sooner voters know about it the better.

There - fixed that in a way that will get the attention and motivation of the voters.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:01 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


But candidates like Clinton and Ossoff who try to run inoffensive and anti-ideological campaigns in an attempt to win over supposedly sensible, wealthier, bourgeois suburban David-Brooks-reading Republican Romney voters will find that they lose by surprisingly wide margins. There is no Democrat so seemingly non-partisan that Romney Republicans will be tempted to cross the aisle in enough numbers to make a difference.

Or he did pretty darn well in a very R district that hasn't gone D since 1979 and sent Gingrich to Congress for over a decade before Price. A district that Rs historically win by 20 points, where he, a 30 year old first time candidate, came within 1.9 points of winning outright in the primary and bested 11/16 by 19 points. A district in a state where Hillary crushed Bernie by 43 points, so not only is it a Republican district, the Democrats weren't that interested in Bernie's spiel. Not everything is proof of someone's agenda or a proxy for relitigating the primaries. Sometimes it's just a bad playing field where you come close, register a lot of voters, build organization and come back to fight again in 2018. There are 93 less conservative districts than GA06. We need 24 in 2018.
posted by chris24 at 4:07 AM on June 21 [72 favorites]


Have the Feds Really Flipped Michael Flynn? (Allegra Kirkland, TPM)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:36 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Thoughts on the Disappointing Result Out of Georgia 6 (Josh Marshall, TPM)
What Democrats need to resist at all costs is the temperamental inclination to fall into spasms of self-loathing over this defeat – specifically, the idea that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the party because of this loss. I saw one Democrat on Twitter tonight ask if Ossoff’s loss didn’t mean “the Democratic party apparatus needs a total overhaul on every single level?”

Maybe the Democrats do need a fundamental overhaul. But doing 10 to 15 points better than a House candidate has done in this district since the 1970s simply isn’t evidence for that. There’s also a toxic desire on the part of many to use this painful defeat as an opening to relitigate intra-party grievances. Losing is hard. Taking a loss and getting up the next day to keep fighting to get to the next level takes endurance and guts. Many cannot resist the temptation to trade that sting for a toxic self-validation. All I can say to that is that parties build majorities by finding ways to unite competing factions over common interests and goals – something Donald Trump should help with a lot. They almost never get there when they are locked in internecine struggle or when either faction thinks it can or does destroy the other. That’s just not how it works.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:40 AM on June 21 [54 favorites]


I truly think the message from Ds to Rs now has to be "we are coming for you motherfuckers -- and we are getting closer and closer." They are the confident swimmers and we are Jaws: big, powerful, and not visible from the surface -- but we are coming. That ominous music is getting louder.
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:52 AM on June 21 [36 favorites]


We would be foolish not to talk about possible vote tampering--it's not whining to wonder if a hostile government that has already attacked our system will continue to do so, with the collusion of a party that has shown itself disturbingly willing to make that devil's bargain for tax cuts. We need to loudly demand more transparency and security of voting machines/counts and make a lot of noise about it. Hopefully all the votes tonight were legit and Russia had nothing to do with the outcome, but that doesn't mean we should be complacent about them wanting to manipulate things.
posted by emjaybee

^ THIS. THIS, THIS, THIS.
posted by yoga at 5:05 AM on June 21 [42 favorites]


@johnastoehr
Jill Stein, today: [Clinton and Trump are] not different enough to save your life, to save your job, to save the planet."

---

My hate for Trump and Trumpettes is closely followed by that for Stein and her ilk. (and the 'today' mentioned in the tweet is yesterday.)
posted by chris24 at 5:06 AM on June 21 [50 favorites]


I'm trying, I really am trying to be the kid who got the pile of pony poop on xmas and looks around excitedly, exclaiming, "I KNOW there's a pony nearby, I just KNOW it!!"
posted by yoga at 5:12 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


One thing I noticed in my years of canvassing, especially young and poorer people is that they just have more obstacles getting to vote than older, established (Republican?) people. I really don't think it's as much a matter of getting them inspired as some make it out to be.

Just the simple fact younger and poorer people move around a lot more makes it harder for them to vote. Younger and poorer people have a harder time getting off work or making the time. Last November, on election day alone I encountered FIVE eviction notices, something I will never forget! A few days before election day, I was in a neighborhood clearly riddled with drug addicts, and a strung-out young man on a bicycle stopped me to ask if he could still vote because he had just moved.

This whole moving thing gets to me every time I go canvassing and it really bugs me when people say things like young people would rather demonstrate than vote.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:13 AM on June 21 [47 favorites]


For that matter, that Jaws analogy could be useful for talking to disappointed or discouraged Ds. We are getting closer.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:13 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


That Democrats would take comfort from this result is absurd. Vast sums of money invested and the Republican won going away. Ossoff was at his most popular two weeks before the primary and has been fading since. The last $10 million (at least) was not only wasted but was on the verge of fraud -- huge commissions earned by fundraising and media firms on a race that was already lost. The basic math of 2018 is lots of Republican House districts with defensible margins, a hugely pro-Republican matchup set for the Senate, and an acceleration of the 2008-2016 trend of ever more relatively Republican turnout in off-year elections. Democrats need to be smart about money and picking their spots, not dumb.

Also, the moderate / independent-ish white southern Democrat isn't really a thing anymore and Ossoff's decision to pretend to be one was ill-considered. The Pelosi ads, nasty as they are, are also basically true: once a Democrat gets to Capitol Hill, they are in service to the California/New York-led agenda. Of course that's NOT the far left Bernie Sanders agenda by any means, but still. Ossoff should have proudly been what he is and promised to do what he was going to do.
posted by MattD at 5:13 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I really don't think it's as much a matter of getting them inspired as some make it out to be.

What I mean by that is that I think they are/were inspired to vote, but the obstacles standing in their way are real.

And that's not even getting to Russian hacking and North-Carolina style obstructions.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:18 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


I hope we get an Ivanka or Spicer or Conway scandal dropped today because I cannot even if there are going to be 500 more comments relitigating GA-6.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:32 AM on June 21 [69 favorites]


NO IT'S YOU WHO IS RELITIGATING GA-6
posted by radicalawyer at 5:42 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


I have been a reliable and consistent Democratic voter for so long that I do not even get canvassed any more. (The party takes me for granted and that is fine. I get catered to in nearly every other facet of my very white middle class life.) But when I was in college and immediately thereafter? I rarely voted. Not because I was affecting some kind of too cool for school pose but because voting is legitimately hard (and was even harder when I was younger because no internet) when you live in a different state than your permanent address and when you up sticks and move every year. Between 1993 and 2000 I moved back and forth between Pennsylvania and Maryland five times. Which is not at all atypical for young people and not atypical for poor people of all ages. You go where you've got to go to make the hustle work.

I talked to a guy while canvassing last year who was on my turf list at one address but when I asked if he knew his voting location he gave me a polling place in a total other neighborhood. I was like, "Ummm I don't think that's right" and he said "Nah, it's right. I keep my voter registration at my mom's house in [other neighborhood] because I move around a lot." Not legal, but smart (and given that the other neighborhood was in the same local, state and federal districts as his domicile, immaterial to the outcome of anything). Here in PA you only have to show proof of residence the first time you vote in your precinct and thereafter you stay on the rolls and don't have to show ID. If we get some show-ID-every-time-you-vote this very effective strategy to be able to still reliably vote without a giant hassle will no longer work.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:45 AM on June 21 [15 favorites]


going to be 500 more comments relitigating GA-6.


Relitigating?

Relitigating doesn't mean "doing something I don't like". The way you're using this term robs it of meaning; an action we deride on the right, and should be derided here.

The election finished 12 hours ago.We haven't even seen all the presented evidence!
posted by lalochezia at 5:45 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


While we were all focused on Georgia yesterday, Marco Rubio and Ivanka were play acting. Not the Onion:

CNN Marco Rubio opens Twitter 'investigation' into failed Ivanka Trump hug
Washington (CNN)Sen. Marco Rubio went on a tweetstorm Tuesday afternoon after his greeting with Ivanka Trump on Capitol Hill earlier that day went viral.
A picture of the two apparently attempting an embrace surfaced on social media soon after the pair met at the Capitol to discuss tax reform and parental leave.

Hours after the photo began to make the rounds on Twitter, Rubio responded from his account, saying he had just learned of the photo and would open his own investigation to expose what really happened during his encounter with Trump.
I honestly did not believe it when I first read the CNN report-- I actually checked out Rubio's twitter account to make sure it was real.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:51 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


i enjoy discussion of GA-6, though if it is discussed in the lens of the 2016 D primary then i enjoy it like i enjoy a MAGA hat
posted by localhuman at 5:51 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


I am a bit sick to my stomach, but I am an old liberal looking at America and that is thus my natural state. We are a doomed nation and have been for a long, long time. We graduated from corrupt to doomed sometime late in the first Reagan administration, when it became obvious that feeding the public jingoism and racism and moralizing and bullshit was a winning formula that'd make half the public happily give the wealthy everything they wanted. They've honed that formula for decades and, well, look where we are now.

You can win in some places with logic and truth. But not enough places and not with people who have actual radical change in mind. I would love to see an actual card-carrying unapologetic leftist win big someday and shout IT'S MAONING IN AMERICA from the White House lawn but I will not live that long. Nor will anyone else.

So why do we keep kicking and yelling and fighting?

Because there are no safe spaces in America. Every one of us has neighbors who think Trump speaks for Jesus, brown skin equals probable cause, the Bible should be legally binding, America has the moral authority to glass any country we don't like, and they'd be rich and happy if coastal elitist Communists and welfare queens and news reporters and immigrants and queers and perverts and non-Christians would just shut up and know their place. They have their own media streams reinforcing for them that they're right. And they will not stop.

But there are good people everywhere in America, too. Yes, even in Oklahoma. Losing an election 77-23 means there are 23% fighting the good fight and saying "screw THAT" to what the greedheads desire. There are people all over America who are suffering and will suffer worse. If we have any power at all to help them, or at least to let them know that they're not alone and they do count and they are being heard, that's what we are here for.

Because we are better than the Least Common American Denominator. We have to be or the nation really is doomed. And the next person crying out for help just might be you someday.
posted by delfin at 5:55 AM on June 21 [27 favorites]


huge commissions earned by fundraising and media firms on a race that was already lost.

It was a bare 12 hours ago that 538 had it as too close to call. I don't think anyone could have reliably said it was "already lost" unless they were giving in to despair - which is a real thing that happens, but maybe not what we want out of the DNC?
posted by corb at 5:55 AM on June 21 [23 favorites]


Corbyn loses an election by a few percentage points and is strutting around as if he is Prime Minister-elect.

The Dems lose in a tough district and are already sitting shiva. Dem leaders should be out crowing about this election and the electoral swing to Dems. They should be putting it out as a win and making noises that no GOP politician is safe.
posted by PenDevil at 5:57 AM on June 21 [113 favorites]


Marco Rubio opens Twitter 'investigation' into failed Ivanka Trump hug

Reading that article....is Rubio attemtping....humor....on the internet.....?

Dude give it up. Poe's law is coming for you.
posted by Twain Device at 5:59 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


In total, the personal information of potentially near all of America’s 200 million registered voters was exposed, including names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details, as well as data described as “modeled” voter ethnicities and religions.

Everyone involved should go to jail. They won't, of course, but by god they should.
posted by winna at 6:02 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Corbyn loses an election by a few percentage points and is strutting around as if he is Prime Minister-elect.

The Dems lose in a tough district and are already sitting shiva. Dem leaders should be out crowing about this election and the electoral swing to Dems. They should be putting it out as a win and making noises that no GOP politician is safe.


This. Rs aren't even needing to work to spin this because we're spinning it as catastrophe. Fuck that. They had to work their ass off, spend tens of millions and sweat the electoral win in a very safe district, so let's not concede the messaging win. Let's quit playing defense and play some offense.
posted by chris24 at 6:03 AM on June 21 [70 favorites]


It was a bare 12 hours ago that 538 had it as too close to call. I don't think anyone could have reliably said it was "already lost" unless they were giving in to despair - which is a real thing that happens, but maybe not what we want out of the DNC?

Ironic considering the amount of shit the DNC cops for not funding maybe-winnable races in Republican districts.

I mean the key takeaways as I see them from GA-6 are:
* If the line holds the house is gone. Republicans need to go for broke to pass whatever the hell they can before 2018. If the leadership realize and expect this you can expect the legislation shenanigans to accelerate and bills to come thick and fast.
* Democrats need to run for every seat.
* Democrats need a flip the house fund which outright finances every race in a seat that's PVI R+10 or lower including Ryan's district.
* Vote tampering and suppression (even worse, Russian variants thereof) are distractions and merely deckchairs on the Titanic. The real iceberg is enthusiasm driven voter turnout.

When it comes down to it the American people are ultimately responsible for what comes out of their districts. Sadly, if Americans are happy to send enablers of kleptocratic cryptofascists over milquetoast moderates that's the government we're going to get. We can only work with what candidates show up and who make it through the primaries.
posted by Talez at 6:06 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


Jill Stein, today: [Clinton and Trump are] not different enough to save your life, to save your job, to save the planet."

great, another idiot who hasn't noticed that the election's been over for months

ps, jill, you lost
posted by pyramid termite at 6:07 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


Well she has to earn her RT stipend somehow.
posted by winna at 6:09 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


I am barely controlling myself from lashing out at a few comments here on the Blue. You want to bury the Dems? Fine. But this is a war and we lost this one battle. It was a battle in the Republicans' own territory. We brought it to them and they squeaked out a win. Should we have never tried?

I do believe that we face a lot of obstacles and the biggest one may be the Citizens United money. It is true that the Right Wing set their propaganda machine on "firehose" and they managed to blow Ossoff away but the way we counter that isn't to jettison Pelosi or stop trying to reach for the heart of the Republican power. As always the way is to have a good message and get it out there via candidates who believe in that message.

Government can work for people. It can improve their lives, it can make them safer, it can go to battle for them against the big corporations and banks ganging up on them. It can make sure that every person in America has their civil rights protected. I personally think these values are worth fighting for. Hard. Until my last dying breath. If that's what you believe too, then get out there and fight.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:11 AM on June 21 [102 favorites]


Some thoughts on GA-06 from Florida's Steve Schale.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:19 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Democrats need a flip the house fund which outright finances every race in a seat that's PVI R+10 or lower including Ryan's district.

Isn't ActBlue sort of a flip-the-house fund? So it goes to multiple fights? (or lets you designate the fight you want the $ to go to?)
posted by yoga at 6:19 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I do believe that we face a lot of obstacles and the biggest one may be the Citizens United money. It is true that the Right Wing set their propaganda machine on "firehose" and they managed to blow Ossoff away

+1. PAC and outside money saved this for Rs, but they can't spend $20m on every House race in 2018. And yes, most/all Ds in 2018 aren't going to have Ossoff money, but as MT, SC and KS show, Ds are outperforming by 10+ points without the big cash in the current political environment. Enthusiasm and momentum are on our side and Rs have more territory to defend. And that's with Trump and Rs still benefitting from the Obama economy and stability.
posted by chris24 at 6:19 AM on June 21 [26 favorites]


Steve Schale: Even in districts like this, the road to 45-47%, with enough money and a good enough candidate, can be smooth. But the road from there to 50+1 can be like climbing Everest without oxygen -- sure it can be done, but it requires a really amazing climber and a fair amount of luck.
...
Which gets back to the lesson. One of the biggest forgotten lessons of 2006 is the importance of recruitment. My side will never have the money to go toe-to-toe with Republicans everywhere. We have to have the "better" candidate in a lot of places to win, particularly due to gerrymandering where we have to win more seats on GOP turf than they do on ours. At the Congressional level, the DCCC in 2006 fielded a rock-star slate of candidates. At the legislative cycle, in a year when we picked up seven GOP-held seats and held two Democatic open seats, we had the "better" candidate in almost every instance. We also recruited broadly, trying to find the best candidates we could in as many plausible seats as possible, to compete broadly, to give ourselves lots of options - and when the wave happened, the map blew wide open. Had we not put the work in on the recruitment side -- occasionally in places where a Democratic candidate had already filed, at best we would have gone plus 2 or 3, even with the wave. At same time, if we had more money, our +7 year might have been +10 or more.

posted by T.D. Strange at 6:21 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Sleepy Tillerson hasn't had time to do a damn thing since he took office but it seems that he found the energy to launch a brand new investigation into Clinton's use of email while at the State Department.

So you have that to look forward to.
posted by JackFlash at 6:29 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Vote tampering and suppression (even worse, Russian variants thereof) are distractions and merely deckchairs on the Titanic. The real iceberg is enthusiasm driven voter turnout.

I strongly disagree with this. All the enthusiasm & turnout in the world can't overcome tinkering on the counting back end.

BOTH things have to happen: secure processes, AND enthusiasm--->turnout.
posted by yoga at 6:31 AM on June 21 [15 favorites]


Have the Feds Really Flipped Michael Flynn?

To save you a click, the answer is still "maybe."
posted by diogenes at 6:32 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


Yeah, I don't share the despondency over the GA-06 result. Turning representation in the House to majority Democratic is a huge undertaking, and winning is a process that--at first--does in fact consist of losing less badly in every single district where Democrats have had little to no presence for a long, long time. Massive, important changes take a lot of work, happen by degrees and are thus incremental, which can be very frustrating and demoralizing, and of course is terrifyingly slow in the face of personal danger and risk for anyone who is a vulnerable and/or marginalized person for any reason. (And I don't mean to tell anyone to ignore their feelings, or the real, substantial effects that this--or any other--local election may have on safety, health and well-being.)

But in that district, in 2017, this result is many, many degrees better than could have been plausibly imagined even a year ago. (How does Jake put it? "Dude, sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.")
posted by LooseFilter at 7:03 AM on June 21 [22 favorites]


It's disappointing, but I can't say it's really surprising so I'm not going all despair and darkest timeline here. The results of the runoff were the same as the results of the special election.

Ossoff got 48% of the vote in the special election, and the various right wing candidates split 52% of the vote. When people were talking about flipping GA-06 I wondered where they thought Ossoff would get the missing 2%, because it seemed reasonable to assume the right would coalesce behind Handel once all the other right candidates were out of the picture.

I'll agree that winning is necessary, not merely closing gaps, but that Ossoff came close is still an encouraging sign. Trump is unpopular and remains unpopular, but we're still running up against two basic facts:

First, that politics in America is intensely tribal. To a great many voters all that matters is the letter behind the candidate's name, it doesn't matter much if they're feeling angered at the Republicans, or feeling that Trump is not a great President, if they're part of Tribe Republican they'll vote for the Republican candidate unless things get much, much, worse than they are now.

And while us political junkies are plugged in and seeing lots of worrying things, the average voter isn't even aware of much of what's going on with Trump. I know a lot of Republicans, and many of them have simply unplugged from politics. They voted Trump in, they're feeling to a certain extent that's all they needed to do or care about. A Republican is President so now they feel free to ignore politics entirely, basically on the grounds that from their POV all is right with the world so why even bother paying attention?

The other major takeaway here is that while the right isn't monolithic, the deep fractures haven't yet reached the point of having any effect on voting patterns. The Teabaggers, Libertarians, Religious Right, and so on all have their differences, but they're mostly able to put those aside and vote for any Republican come election day. And that hasn't changed. In the special election they were fragmented, but when the runoff happened that 52% that voted for not-a-Democrat came together and voted for Handel.

I think we can exploit the fractures in the Republican voting base, but it's going to take more than a few months of Trump being Trump for those fractures to really change voting patterns.

To us it feels like years since Trump was elected, but to your average, politically disinterested, voter it's been an eyeblink and they just haven't had time to really absorb what's going on.

The answer to "what do we do now" is the same as it was before: we continually push against that shield of apathy and ignorance, we work to publicize every awful thing Trump and the Republicans do, we work to energize and get our own base out.

We also don't give into despair.

GA-06 is shifting our way, just slower than we'd like. By 2018 the horrible crap Trump is pushing may have trickled down a bit more and we can make up that 2% in a combination of enthusiasm from our side and apathy from theirs.
posted by sotonohito at 7:03 AM on June 21 [47 favorites]


Remind the Republicans that they had to spend over $20 million just to defend what should have been a safe seat, and they won only by the smallest of margins. That ought to worry 'em.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:11 AM on June 21 [30 favorites]


I have a dumb question, re GA-06: the seat goes up for grabs in 2018 along with the rest, right? So basically Handel has a year and a half to get Trump stink on her with the rest of the House Rs, and if they've shit the bed badly enough that the current wave is even 2 points stronger, she's out. Right?
posted by nonasuch at 7:11 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


I'm of two minds about GA-06. I totally get the whole "this was a tough race, and if it's a bellwether for 2018 it's good news" aspect here, and in Kansas, and in South Carolina, and Montana. But at the end of the day, it would be nice to win something. Not necessarily a big important flashy race. Have we maybe picked up a legislature seat somewhere? For morale purposes, I mean. Even if your head is saying, "Good hustle, play like that next year and we're gonna win this thing!" eventually your heart starts saying, "If we can't win now, why would we win then?"

And on a more positive note, I've recently been reading Rise of the Rocket Girls, and watched She's Beautiful When She's Angry a few nights ago, and I've been percolating ideas about just how extraordinary the last half century has been in changing the overall social landscape. Ignoring the specific legal landmarks, we are in living memory of a time when the notion that a woman could have a career, a gay person a family, or a black person any standing at all in society were weird, aberrant ways of thinking of things, and those who bucked the trend were, whether admired or reviled, all too often regarded as freaks. People who internalized that way of looking at things are still alive but a shrinking minority. This is what we're fighting against and time is doing some of the work for us. Yes, there are plenty of young people who still think in very bigoted ways, but I think the wider social conditioning does matter, and, despite a lot of recent, discouraging retrogression, I don't think things are going to roll back enough to really change the course of society. (To engage in Metafilter's favorite hobby: Look at where we are, look at where we started.)
posted by jackbishop at 7:12 AM on June 21 [20 favorites]


Sotonohito, I flagged your post as fantastic. I want to note one thing in particular: most people are NOT political junkies like the posters here. Most people are not that plugged in, and are concentrating on other, to them more important, things in their lives. And for those who are juggling work, family, pets, and trying to squeeze in a little leisure time for themselves (to name one very common situation people find themselves in) checking out CNN or (ugh ugh) Fox might be the most they can/will do. I have political junkie-ism in my blood (my dad was a Poli Sci major, ffs!) and I remember my mom taking me with her to vote when I was only about four or five years old. If you come from a politically disengaged family, you're going to have to learn this stuff as an adult, and many people don't.

And so what people believe and how they vote (or not) gets filtered through how they get their information. And here's where Fox, Breitbart, etc. come in. I've come to believe that, and I hate to use this phrase, "the right wing propaganda machine" is more deeply damaging than just about anything. It's not that Americans are stupid per se, it's that we don't have a BBC but we do have Fox, and if there are a large number of people who get their news from that or Breitbart and nothing else, We Have A Problem.

One thing I have noticed is how old the "TV news only" audience must skew, judging from the commercials I see on CNN when I'm killing time on the treadmill at the gym. So many prescription drug ads, retirement pitches, etc. etc. But Waiting For The Olds To Die doesn't solve the problem of Reddit bro types and those who click on right wing news sites. Fox and its kind are a real problem for us and I honestly don't know where to begin with that.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:24 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


As a Georgia resident, I remind everyone that since 2002 we have all voted on identical black box Diebold touch screen machines running Windows 2000 that produce no paper ballot for the voter to approve and drop into a ballot box.

Here is how we vote:
1) Walk into the polling place and fill out a paper with name, address, and birthday.
2) Have your driver's license/state ID scanned. The data in the ID database must match your piece of paper. Getting a GA driver's license/state ID requires a birth certificate, social security card, and two proofs of your current address. If you don't have a GA driver's license, you can technically still vote using a number of other forms of ID, but you will get shit for it from the poll workers because it's more work for them. (At this point during the 2016 election, many people who knew they were registered to vote at that polling place were turned away because they were told they were not on the rolls. Some persisted. Some gave up.)
3) You are handed a magnetic card, which you insert into a Diebold machine. After a lengthy scroll through many screens on the ancient touchscreen device, the last screen reviews all of your choices and allegedly then records your vote. After you complete your vote, the card is spit out, and you hand it to a poll worker.

That's it. There is no way to check that the machine recorded your vote correctly. There is no way to have a meaningful recount. The possibilities of pre-loading votes, changing votes, or just never downloading the results from a few machines in precincts you don't like seem endless. Malice and incompetence could both endanger the vote. And we have zero recourse.

These machines were purchased shortly before the 2002 election. That is 15 years of elections that I as a Georgian have zero faith in. Yesterday's is just one more.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:24 AM on June 21 [92 favorites]


Honestly, Gianforte should never have won. That's the real warning sign right there.
posted by Yowser at 7:27 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


What if politicians began talking about what they actually believe?

I'd like to think that this would work exceptionally well. I've thought for a while that a candidate embracing that idea would do really well.

I think about the problems I have with candidates, even when I generally agree with their policies. There is too much "spin" to everything. Even things that I agree with are overly simplified. I want a candidate that's brutally honest, utterly transparent, takes ownership, and is ruthlessly objective. Someone who does the right thing even when it hurts them.

It's basically how I would run as a candidate. There are a ton of things that it seems like everyone in politics just accepts as fact and it drives a lot of distasteful behavior. I would love a candidate to tell me that they would love to see a return to much higher marginal tax rates and then explain why the policy I support is something less than that.

Since Joe Biden revealed that he supported same-sex marriage I've never been sure if he accidentally slipped and stated his real, personal position or if it was a sly attempt to test the waters before officially changing the administration's position. That would have never happened with me because I would have been up front that I supported SSM and would work to make it law as soon as it was possible. If it was going to be impossible for me to do because of GOP obstructionism or something, I'd have said so.

I think a candidate like that would get a lot of support.
posted by VTX at 7:33 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Those emails were astoundingly bad. 9+ a day, whipsawing from STUNNING VICTORY to "all hope is lost", and every one of them with capital letter O's instead of number 0's.

I would see them roll in and think "these are atrocious but they must work because someone must know what they're doing."

Not so sure anymore! I have a half-formed thought here relating to Big Data and its promise of incremental insights gleaned... gotta spend some more time to put it together but spoiler: maybe not every conclusion is accurate or meaningful (or maybe even acting on certain insights can cause their effectiveness to change). Remember that "You should follow me on Twitter HERE" article? How effective is that approach today?

Below, a selection of actual email subjects for your reading pleasure:
  • we're heartbroken seth
  • Trump just WON
  • I'm asking for $5O seth
  • SORRY SORRY SORRY seth
  • PLUMMETING
  • Jon Ossoff COLLAPSES
  • Jon Ossoff WINS!!
  • nobody... NOBODY saw this coming
  • we never... NEVER expected this
  • all hope is lost
  • seth- are you online?
  • we fell short [AGAIN]
  • ACCEPT DEFEAT
if we don’t raise $38,491 more TODAY, we simply won’t have the resources to go toe-to-toe with the Republicans.
posted by cybertaur1 at 7:37 AM on June 21 [35 favorites]


What if politicians began talking about what they actually believe?

I’m not especially interested in what a politician believes, because I think it’s more important to know what they’ll do. Trust and predictability are in many ways the same thing. A politician’s beliefs are only interesting when they’re a reliable predictor of who they’ll ally with and what they’ll support.
posted by migurski at 7:40 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Those emails are real? Jesus.
posted by Artw at 7:41 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


...the problem with hackable vote-tallying machines is they can be hacked either way. So, the failure of the Democrats not to out-hack the Republicans is a failure of initiative.

Similar but different, if the Koch brothers and that other nut billionaire can 'buy' a government why can't we - who have an interest of, for and by the people, find a billionaire to go for our side?

I know... naive. But still, it is always worth considering the framing of any problem.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:43 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


I would see them roll in and think "these are atrocious but they must work because someone must know what they're doing."

Not so sure anymore!


They did work. $24 million for a House race is working. They're not sending those to you to get you to move to GA-6 and vote.
posted by Etrigan at 7:46 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Similar but different, if the Koch brothers and that other nut billionaire can 'buy' a government why can't we - who have an interest of, for and by the people, find a billionaire to go for our side?

Yeah, I'll bet if Ossoff had dramatically outspent Handel, or if Clinton had dramatically outspent Trump, they would've won. Oh wait.
posted by jpe at 8:04 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


> Yeah, I'll bet if Ossoff had dramatically outspent Handel, or if Clinton had dramatically outspent Trump, they would've won. Oh wait.

The Koch Brothers are buying districts that are already purple or just a touch blue, and they have had much more success with partisan gerrymandering (by buying up the state houses that control it.) It's not at all comparable to the long odds of a Democrat winning GA-6.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:07 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Brady Dennis/WaPo: EPA plans to buy out more than 1,200 employees this summer

This is roughly 8 percent of their workforce.
It remains unclear how the EPA plans to undertake more than 1,200 buyouts without spending more than $12 million [set aside for this current round of buyouts]. In 2014, according to an inspector general‘s report, the agency paid $11.3 million in incentives to get 456 employees to voluntarily leave. It shelled out an additional $4.9 million in annual leave payouts, for a total of $16.2 million.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:10 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


"Let them eat chromium!"
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


The Dems lose in a tough district and are already sitting shiva. Dem leaders should be out crowing about this election and the electoral swing to Dems. They should be putting it out as a win and making noises that no GOP politician is safe.

This. NPR this morning made a point of mentioning how much money the Democrats spent on GA-06, without mentioning that the Republicans spent at least as much, if not more, to retain what ought to have been a safe seat.
posted by Gelatin at 8:14 AM on June 21 [56 favorites]


Yeah, I'll bet if Ossoff had dramatically outspent Handel, or if Clinton had dramatically outspent Trump, they would've won. Oh wait.

And

NPR this morning made a point of mentioning how much money the Democrats spent on GA-06, without mentioning that the Republicans spent at least as much, if not more

Just to make this precise, here's a breakdown of spending on GA-06. Ossoff and allies spent 7.5 million; Handel and allies spent 18.8 million.
posted by Jpfed at 8:22 AM on June 21 [66 favorites]


18.8 million to retain a safe seat.

Where did I leave my old Dean For America sign?
posted by delfin at 8:30 AM on June 21 [23 favorites]


They did work. $24 million for a House race is working. They're not sending those to you to get you to move to GA-6 and vote.
That's a good point; I guess I assumed that the entire campaign was similar in tone to the facet that I saw of it (those emails, pro-Ossoff dinosaurs, etc).

I also thought that a lot of the money came in largely due to the narrative around this particular special election, as a referendum on Trump, but the email campaign could have convinced donors to donate multiple times.
posted by cybertaur1 at 8:31 AM on June 21


@ThePlumLineGS
Via @Alex_Roarty and @katieglueck, Ossoff lost because there are a lot of Republican voters in the district:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article157305789.html
But Ossoff still lost in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District because his supporters, even when combined with politically moderate independents, couldn’t outnumber Republican partisans. In the election’s final days, GOP strategists working the race said if Handel simply turned out enough GOP partisans, Ossoff and the Democrats wouldn’t be able to catch up.

They were right.

@williamjordann Retweeted Greg Sargent
On this—in May there was a GA6 poll that released crosstabs. Handel was winning only 80% of Rs, 6% of Ds, 39% of indies
Topline: Handel +2


@ThePlumLineGS Replying to @williamjordann
Interesting. That would seem to mean that Ds actually did manage to move some Rs away from her, but still fell short, right?


@williamjordann Replying to @ThePlumLineGS
Yeah, I wd think so. (Given Dem House performance in past for GA6 & '17 turnout, he must have picked up nontrivial number of traditional Rs)

---

Handel won by 3.7. So if you assume this poll approximates the electorate, Ossoff dominated with Inds and pulled a good amount of Rs, but the district was just too R. And again, there are 93 less conservative districts than this.
posted by chris24 at 8:31 AM on June 21 [58 favorites]


I want to note one thing in particular: most people are NOT political junkies like the posters here. Most people are not that plugged in, and are concentrating on other, to them more important, things in their lives. And for those who are juggling work, family, pets, and trying to squeeze in a little leisure time for themselves (to name one very common situation people find themselves in) checking out CNN or (ugh ugh) Fox might be the most they can/will do.

Yep, I'd even take it a step further, at least here in the red-state Midwest, vis-a-vis what Soren_Lorensen said upthread:

Republicanism isn't an ideology, it's an identity.

Once that identity's locked in—not hard to happen when 99% of what's around you reinforces that identity—you kind of don't even have to worry about the issues and the candidates any more. You know which side is right, and data points to the contrary are just noise. Why bother with the big words and the brain-hurting and the know-nothing college types sneering at you, when you can just hitch your wagon to Team America, pull the lever to make it official when you're told to, and be done with it?

This is a big, big block of voters we need to worry about.
posted by Rykey at 8:41 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Handel was winning only 80% of Rs...

And a bit more info on this number. In 2016, Trump, even with all his issues and the supposed NeverTrumpers, got 90% of Rs according to exit polls. 80% of your own party is a disaster in competitive districts.
posted by chris24 at 8:41 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


Jeh Johnson (former DHS Sec.) testified in front of the House Intel Committee this morning. Shareblue liveblogged the Q&A in this twitter thread.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:42 AM on June 21


This is a big, big block of voters we need to worry about.

I actually think we shouldn't worry about them. Dealing with them veers sharply from politics into psychology and is a distraction. Or at least, don't worry about them until we are sure that we have not left any persuadable, engaged voters on the table.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:45 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


Hamilton Nolan, Fusion: "Bipartisanship" Means "I Don't Understand What Politics Is"
Politics is little more than a baseball game when you don’t need anything. Civility seems like a pressing matter when you already have everything else you require. Bipartisanship sounds like a good idea when ideas affect you in purely abstract ways—when your rights and your power and your wealth and your standard of living will all be fine no matter what Congress does. This describes the situation of the vast majority of the pundit and political class bent on promoting bipartisanship. When all of the important things in your life are peachy, it is easy for surface matters like manners to take on an outsized importance. Why be so partisan, when it’s all a game? Why be so mad at each other about politics that we can no longer have nice parties? Aren’t we all here, primarily, to party?

Everything in politics cannot be solved by compromise. Abortion is legal, or it’s not. That awful Supreme Court justice is confirmed, or he’s not. Pollution is properly regulated, or it’s not. Our tax system is sufficiently progressive, or it’s not. We go to war, or we don’t. Every one of these choices is ultimately a statement of morality—a conviction about what is right and wrong. Valuing “bipartisanship” on the really important issues is an admission that you have no real beliefs. What are bipartisanship and civility in comparison to life and death and human rights? How important is bipartisanship in the context of losing your health care, or sending your son off to be shot in a war? Where is the compromise to be found in an economic system that allows the very rich to accumulate staggering fortunes as tens of millions struggle to survive? Anyone with any sense of decency would be ashamed to be caught railing about the value of Congressional games when there is a real possibility that these people could force your neighbor to seek a back alley abortion and then be bankrupted by the resulting medical complications. Anyone with a proper understanding of the stakes of politics will find this fetish for politeness obscene. Is civility a greater value than life and death and war and human rights? The bipartisans, who desperately seek compromise for the sake of their own social comfort with little regard for the human costs, are amoral monsters. And they should be treated as such.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:51 AM on June 21 [82 favorites]


Jeh Johnson (former DHS Sec.) testified in front of the House Intel Committee this morning. Shareblue liveblogged the Q&A in this twitter thread.

Correction: the hearing is still happening (CSPAN link)
posted by melissasaurus at 8:51 AM on June 21


I will say that if you want the Democrats to win, we need to do what wins.

How have the Republicans won a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate, the Presidency, and nearly 3/4 of state governments?

By relentless negativity.

By bitter, vicious, give no ground, partisanship.

By a never ending stream of hate, vitriol, attack ads, and demonization of the opposition.

By building and maintaining a network of right wing personalities and the media to promote them, from hate radio to FOX "News", to InfoWars, to Trump's twitter feed, to right wing newspapers.

By, in other words, utterly and completely abandoning any and all pretense of bipartisanship, shared American values, comity, or belief in Democrats as fellow Americans who have different ideas but are fundamentally good people.

How will we win?

We will not win by playing nice.

We will not win by appeals to America's better nature.

We will not win by making milquetoast appeals to bipartisanship, comity, and a shared Americanism.

We know what will not work, what does not work, what cannot work. So how do we win?

By doing what we know works.

We win by doing to them what they did to us, only doing it first, harder, and nastier.

We are in dire, desperate, need of a leftist answer to FOX News, to InfoWars, to hate radio. Liberals tend to listen to different media than Republicans so we can't simply copy exactly what they do. But at the same time, ceding the entire AM spectrum to the Republicans without even trying to fight back with our own stations and talkers was a grievous mistake.

Clinton's basket of deplorables line was one of the best things she ever did, the only failure was that she backed down on it instead of doubling down on it. She should have pushed so much harder on demonizing Republicans and Trump Cultists.

We need Soros, Gates, and all the other Democratic billionaires to bankroll a real leftist media project to counter the decades of us abandoning the field to the right.

We need to drag the Overton Window our way by having our own "crazies" to promote ideas outside the acceptable mainstream, our own set of leftist media to normalize those fringe far left talking points by "reporting on the controversy", and then our own team of acceptable moderates to push the now normalized talking points on mainstream news media.

We need to remember Reagan's 11th Commandment. We should never, ever, condemn a leftist. I don't give a shit if you think Michael Moore is an assclown, STFU and remember that he's on our team. The absolute worst you should ever do to any leftist agitator is ignore them, but we should never, ever, condemn or criticize them. We should never, ever, admit that any right criticism of them is valid. They criticize our crazies we deflect, we don't admit they have a good point. We need a healthy crop of "crazies" to move the Overton Window and pull in our fringe. Sure, they don't get invites to red carpet events, that's not their job, but the people there should never say one single bad word about anyone on the left or admit that any criticism of anyone on the left is valid or worthwhile.

Any criticism of anyone on the left must immediately be decried as horrible partisanship and held up as a prime example of the Republicans violating the laws of decorum. They play the victim very well, we must match them.

I want to win, and I see only one example of an empirically verified way to win: the Republican approach. We must learn from them, copy what we can, adapt what we can't directly copy, meet them on their own battlefields and leave nothing uncontested.

Yes, left wing AM radio would be a money losing proposition and probably have few listeners. We must do it anyway just so we aren't leaving AM radio uncontested.

If our answer to FOX is MSNBC then no wonder we're losing so horribly. We need unabashed, unashamed, blatant, left wing news that always blames any and all problems on Republicans, not this pathetic bothsidesism infected centrist "balanced" crap we keep getting.

I want to win. And I will do whatever it takes to win. Will you?
posted by sotonohito at 8:52 AM on June 21 [39 favorites]


veers sharply from politics into psychology

Politics IS Psychology. The Democrats need to step up their game and stop trying to win purely on the merit of their Good Ideas.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:53 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


This is the article I've been waiting for someone to write (and Jon Karl of ABC finally has, with help from Adam Fisher of ABC News): 25 questions the White House has promised to answer but hasn't
At White House briefings since May 1, Spicer and his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have promised to come back with answers to more than 25 questions, but there is no public record of a single follow-up answer to any of those questions.

No White House press secretary can be expected to have answers for all the questions that come up at a press briefing. That’s why it’s long been common practice for press secretaries to respond to some questions by offering information at a later date. Previous White House press offices have included some of those follow-up answers as addendums to the official briefing transcript.

ABC News’ Adam Fisher reviewed every White House briefing transcript since May 1, documenting each time the White House spokesperson offered to come back with more information.
...
The promised follow-ups have come on subjects ranging from U.S. policy toward ISIS to the severance payment given to a fired White House usher. In each case there is a pattern: a promise to get more information followed by … silence.
And in perfect irony:
ABC News asked Spicer if he intends to provide the promised answers, but he did not respond.
(The full article has the actual questions, with citations)
posted by cjelli at 8:53 AM on June 21 [27 favorites]


jack bishop wrote: just how extraordinary the last half century has been in changing the overall social landscape. Ignoring the specific legal landmarks, we are in living memory of a time when the notion that a woman could have a career, a gay person a family, or a black person any standing at all in society were weird, aberrant ways of thinking of things, and those who bucked the trend were, whether admired or reviled, all too often regarded as freaks. People who internalized that way of looking at things are still alive but a shrinking minority. This is what we're fighting against and time is doing some of the work for us.

This. And remember that everything the R's have been doing the last 40 something years has been about delaying the inevitable, not stopping it. Because it cannot be stopped. I know, 40 years, which will end up being 50 years or even a bit more are too long for someone who got shot by police when he was 27, or who died of a curable disease because she was poor, but the knowledge that this will end is important. And the wisdom that this will end faster if we all fight is important (yeah, there is fighting to be done even in socialist paradise here)
posted by mumimor at 8:53 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Take that Wapo story on Trump wanting to get rid of 8% of the EPA workforce.

We need to frame it as: Republicans want you to die choking on pollution.

We need to frame "regulations" as "protections". As in "Today Donald J Trump rolled back 750 protections that keep your water and food safe, opening the door for his cronies to poison your children!"

"In his ongoing efforts to poison your water, Trump is trying to slash nearly 10% of the EPA's workforce so the agency can no longer keep an eye his polluting campaign donors. Trump, who only drinks imported French bottled water, isn't worried about water purity for anyone else."

And we need that framing pushed, aggressively, on all forms of media from radio to web to print to TV to podcast, and repeated endlessly until even the lowest information voter "knows" that Trump is an elitist scumbag who wants them to die from contaminated water.
posted by sotonohito at 8:57 AM on June 21 [89 favorites]


We need to drag the Overton Window our way by having our own "crazies" to promote ideas outside the acceptable mainstream, our own set of leftist media to normalize those fringe far left talking points by "reporting on the controversy", and then our own team of acceptable moderates to push the now normalized talking points on mainstream news media.

No. This is not the way to win. Yes, dirty tricks, lying and stealing has worked for them, but that doesn't mean we should participate. If we are going to win, we are going to win ethically. We are going to win in a way that we aren't peeking around every corner to make sure we've not been caught. We're going to win making sure we have put out our best and brightest. I will not vote for a democratic party that lies, cheats and steals as much as the republicans do now.

Hard pass.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:58 AM on June 21 [19 favorites]


We are going to win in a way that we aren't peeking around every corner to make sure we've not been caught.

It's not like the Republican base doesn't know what's going on. They're barely concealing what they're doing, and simply don't give a shit if they're caught.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:02 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Amy B Wang/WaPo: A radio host was warned not to criticize President Trump. So he quit.

The host is Bruce Bond, formerly of WTPA FM, Pennsylvania.
This is to serve as notice that it is not permissible on WTPA airwaves to talk [disrepectfully] of the President,” [station general manager Tim] Michaels wrote in the memo, which Bonds later shared on Facebook. “I have received backlash in the form of emails, phones calls and such. I have listeners threatening a boycotts of sponsors and social media campaigns against the station, I have spoken with several parties personally this week that are very angered and have discontinued listening to WTPA, and are encouraging their friends to do the same. This cannot continue to happen.”

The message ended with a reminder that Bond had been warned before: “I have asked previously to cease political discussion. If this cannot be [achieved] we will have no choice but to discontinue the show.”

For Bond, the memo was the final straw after more than a year and a half of pressure from his supervisors to stay silent about anything related to politics — particularly, after the election, any negative mention of Trump.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:04 AM on June 21 [27 favorites]


We need to frame it as: Republicans want you to die choking on pollution.

Yep, a lot of it is framing. The Republicans are way better at this.

For example, why is the entire healthcare debate not framed in terms of "pro-healthcare" and "anti-healthcare"? Or better even "pro-health" and "anti-health".
Get on record with statements such as "The Democrats refuse to help Republicans push through their anti-health agenda."
Ask Republicans point-blank why they are "anti-healthcare".
posted by sour cream at 9:04 AM on June 21 [42 favorites]


This is a big, big block of voters we need to worry about.

I actually think we shouldn't worry about them. Dealing with them veers sharply from politics into psychology and is a distraction.


Oh, I don't think we should worry too much about persuading them—yes, that would a distraction away from more productive action.

We *should* worry that they're such a huge, loyal number of voters, though. It means we need to work extra hard to make sure the people who outnumber them vote, change policy and culture so that fewer of them are propagated and recruited going forward, and rebuild civil society around progressive values.

In short, we need to do what the Moral Majority religious right types did to mobilize in the 80s, except with the opposite agenda.
posted by Rykey at 9:05 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


For example, why is the entire healthcare debate not framed in terms of "pro-healthcare" and "anti-healthcare"? Or better even "pro-health" and "anti-health".
Get on record with statements such as "The Democrats refuse to help Republicans push through their anti-health agenda."
Ask Republicans point-blank why they are "anti-healthcare".


Can we tie this to "pro-life"/"pro-choice"?
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:06 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Re: messaging. Truly, it was a stroke of genius for Republicans to decide on "patient-centered" as a euphemism for "profit-centered death systems" in the discourse surrounding the AHCA.
posted by witchen at 9:07 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


I want to win. And I will do whatever it takes to win. Will you?

If you're willing to do whatever it takes to win, one of the things you should be willing to do is ask yourself this: If the Republican strategy for beating Democrats really appeals to possibly-Republican voters, what makes you think that Democrats adopting the same strategy will really appeal to possibly-Democrat voters? I mean, that's like saying that Republicans have figured out that Republican Scissors always beats Democratic Paper, so Dems should definitely adopt an Always Scissors platform.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:08 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Sotonohito, I agree with correct framing. But if it dips into lying to the people, that's where we part ways.
I know it's the age old question of if the ends justify the means. I'm in the no camp.
posted by greermahoney at 9:08 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Republicans want to win, and Democrats want to be right, and acknowledged by everyone as right, which will naturally result in a win.

As the saying goes, history is written by the winner, so we need to stop putting the cart before the horse. Win first, then drive the narrative about being right by virtue of having won.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:08 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


> I want to win. And I will do whatever it takes to win. Will you?

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."
posted by klarck at 9:09 AM on June 21 [22 favorites]


Sotonohito, I agree with correct framing. But if it dips into lying to the people, that's where we part ways. I know it's the age old question of if the ends justify the means. I'm in the no camp.

Yeah, but we don't need to lie. If giving the Republicans more rope to hang themselves were a thing, we currently have the world's biggest ball of rope and could hang them from orbit with all the shitty things they do. We need to stop being too nice to use it.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:10 AM on June 21 [19 favorites]


I'd like one of you to look 100,000 dead Iraqis in the eye and say "I'm sorry we killed you in that war, but it would have been really disconcerting to me if Democrats had ran a negative campaign about GWB's drinking and drug use."
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:11 AM on June 21 [31 favorites]


Look, I totally understand the motivation, and even the logic of fighting fire with fire, but it doesn't work. It has never worked. The left is made up of primarily idealists and optimists, who are incapable of becoming mirrorland republicans. Witness the various leftist media empires which never were, despite huge funding and great talent pools. Overthinking ethical beans is what we do man.

But we do outnumber them. And we need to find a way for people to safely express their displeasure, like the women's march and science march. We need better messaging on tactics like strikes and boycotts , and we need to create a huge portfolio of candidates.

Every single race should be contested. From dogxatcher to governors, there should never be a blank space opposing the republican. The dccc needs to focus on ground gains and local elections.

We need serious leftist Pacs. We need messaging that tells the unvarnished truth about the republican plans. But, we don't need to fight dirty or dishonest. We just need to tell the truth.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:15 AM on June 21 [26 favorites]


"It sucks that you died in a backalley abortion, but it was very important to me that we ran a positive, policy-oriented campaign, even if that meant losing"

"You're homeless now and that seems bad, but it's nothing compared to how bad it would be if we actually said out loud that Republicans are racists"

"I hope you can see that the value of appealing to bipartisanship far exceeds the fact that your insurance has stopped paying for your child's chemotherapy"
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:16 AM on June 21 [38 favorites]


I think that's why Randy Bryce's political ad is so powerful. It's relatable, it's immediately relevant (Mom with MS will be immediately in the shit), and it's true on a vivid level. It's not dirty, but it reveals Republican dirt in all its slimy glory. We need more marketing like that.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:17 AM on June 21 [36 favorites]


That's one way to say that the ends justify the means, but those means risk tearing further at the fabric of American society causing bitterness, hatred and violence to spread.

There are ways to run a clean campaign, predicated on a positive vision of social and political action.

The reality of what the Republicans are doing with Healthcare, the Environment, Civil Rights etc, is all the 'negativity' we need.
posted by kuatto at 9:17 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Targeted marketing is not lying and it's not morally compromising. You don't need to change your values to persuade people, you just have to state those values persuasively. People make this blanket assumption that "person has not voted for us in the past"="person will never vote for us unless we change our values," without accounting for the idea that maybe we just haven't adequately delivered the message.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:21 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


I would also like to point out that a big reason we liberals think that "going low" is too mean for us, is because that's been the Republican bullshit narrative since Reagan about how liberals are so mean to everyone, with their education and elitism and thinking we know better. This is like the bully who jabs pencils in your back all semester and then gets you sent to the principal when you hit back.

It's time to be mean.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:23 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


Re: messaging. Truly, it was a stroke of genius for Republicans to decide on "patient-centered" as a euphemism for "profit-centered death systems" in the discourse surrounding the AHCA.

Republicans: profit-centered :: Democrats: profit-progressives
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:24 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


kuatto: There are ways to run a clean campaign, predicated on a positive vision of social and political action.

OK, I agree. But I can't help it if Republican actions are so cartoonishly evil. I mean, do you disagree with the premises behind these inflammatory statements by 0xFCAF?

> "It sucks that you died in a backalley abortion [...]"
> "You're homeless now and that seems bad [...]"
> "[...] your insurance has stopped paying for your child's chemotherapy"


These are real outcomes of the policies that Republicans are pushing. Grandma will lose her nursing home, there will be death panels - or there won't only because insurance denials won't even bother with appeals panels - and people will be free to die in ditches once their savings (ha ha) run out.

I don't want those things. Is that not a positive enough vision?
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:24 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Like literally our democracy is at stake. We have a budding dictator in the Oval Office, who is compromised by a foreign government. If not now, when? Are we going to be the nicest people in the gulag?
posted by Autumnheart at 9:25 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


I am afraid that the national D's will take exactly the wrong lesson from the results in GA and SC.

I think they'll decide they shouldn't pour money into races, because then they become national events.

But I think what they *should* decide is to pour money into *all* races. Make the R's fight on multiple fronts; if they were fighting both in SC and in GA maybe we could have won one of them. Instead we let them concentrate monetary firepower in just GA.
posted by nat at 9:25 AM on June 21 [11 favorites]


Is civility a greater value than life and death and war and human rights?

I feel like this author doesn't understand that without the veneer of civility and "we're all in this together", everyone starts picking up rifles and getting their new blue and grey uniforms ready. It's not whether civility as an abstract value is more important than life and death, it's whether the country not being wracked by civil war - creating massive, massive death and suffering - is more important than the things currently on the table.
posted by corb at 9:25 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


I just realized this can all be explained with Dungeons & Dragons. The Republicans run Neutral Evil campaigns. They put the Lawful Evil candidates out front and back them up with Chaotic Evil footsoldiers. Meanwhile, the establishment Democrats are running Lawful Neutral campaigns, and they think this is enough. We have a handful of Lawful Good candidates out there, and that's great, but the DNC is trying to broaden its base by peeling off Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil voters from the Republicans, and is leaving a hell of a lot of Chaotic Good voters and activists out in the cold. Somehow, we need to convince the party as a whole to worry more about Good and less about Lawful.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:27 AM on June 21 [29 favorites]


I think that's why Randy Bryce's political ad is so powerful. It's relatable, it's immediately relevant (Mom with MS will be immediately in the shit), and it's true on a vivid level. It's not dirty, but it reveals Republican dirt in all its slimy glory. We need more marketing like that.

You need more *candidates* like that. Especially in rural or suburban districts or states. Too many Dem candidates seem to be uptight academics with no social connectability. The kind of people to whom a term like "liberal elite" sticks and sticks hard. Run those people in safe D areas, but if you want to flip a red state or district blue you need to put up someone the voters can reasonably see as "one of them". If that means running a working stiff who watches sports and drinks beer straight from a can, but also supports leftist causes, then that's who you should run. They're out there.
posted by rocket88 at 9:27 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


Unfortunately, civility for Democrats means that Republicans get to be as shitty as they want in both style and substance and we are not allowed to fight back.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:28 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


What are bipartisanship and civility in comparison to life and death and human rights? How important is bipartisanship in the context of losing your health care, or sending your son off to be shot in a war? Where is the compromise to be found in an economic system that allows the very rich to accumulate staggering fortunes as tens of millions struggle to survive? Anyone with any sense of decency would be ashamed to be caught railing about the value of Congressional games when there is a real possibility that these people could force your neighbor to seek a back alley abortion and then be bankrupted by the resulting medical complications. Anyone with a proper understanding of the stakes of politics will find this fetish for politeness obscene. Is civility a greater value than life and death and war and human rights? The bipartisans, who desperately seek compromise for the sake of their own social comfort with little regard for the human costs, are amoral monsters. And they should be treated as such.

"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion."
- William Ralph Inge

Republicans control all branches of our Federal government and many State governments. That's not going to change before November 2018 at the earliest, and realistically Democrats who win next year's elections can't do anything legislatively until January 2019. It's fine to talk about stonewalling and not offering Democratic approval to anything that Republicans do, and I agree that in some cases that's exactly what they should be doing. But that is an entirely symbolic gesture when Republicans have all the power.

Right now Democrats in Congress have two options: 1) be the party of no, or 2) try to work with their more moderate colleagues across the aisle to eliminate some of the worst effects of legislation that is going to pass anyway.

In many if not most cases, option 1 will be the only moral one. Frankly, it may be their only option in the House. The 2018 elections do not look good for the Democrats in the House. They will be defending 25 seats. They will need to flip all 25 plus an additional 3 Republican seats (likely candidates are New Mexico and Arizona,) to gain a slim majority. Five of the seats they're defending are in high red majority states: Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

But in some cases the Dems moral obligation to the American people may very well be option 2. There are 52 Republican Senators. This is a very narrow majority. Turn 2 and you have a tie. Turn 3 and you have a win. It's possible that bipartisanship may be key to Democratic victories in the Senate from now through the next election. If Trump's erratic, insane behavior, the stupidity and corruption of his administration and also consistent public outcry spook any moderate Republicans, that's going to be the GOP's weakest link.

The Dems have never been unified and they're not good at presenting a united front. There are a number of House Democrats who are in barely blue districts who will be vulnerable come re-election if they don't support Republican legislation on specific issues. Such as tax relief. Or Trump's infrastructure plans. Relying on them to speak with one voice and not vote with Republicans to cover their own asses is a fool's errand.

Sometimes holding the line is going to mean actively creating incremental victories against terrible laws.
posted by zarq at 9:29 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


Blaming Republicans loudly and often for problems and policies bought and paid for and caused by Republicans is not lying or dirty tricks. "We will win fairly, squarely, honorably and with dignity or not at all" ought to be the official motto of the Washington Generals.

You cannot topple Bullshit Mountain without equally aggressive stances and campaigning. Waiting for the general public to think independently and say "hey, the Repubs are lying to us" is a recipe for, well, what we have now. Attack and keep attacking or get backed into a corner every time. The truth is on your side; trumpet it.
posted by delfin at 9:29 AM on June 21 [20 favorites]


You need more *candidates* like that. Especially in rural or suburban districts or states. Too many Dem candidates seem to be uptight academics with no social connectability. The kind of people to whom a term like "liberal elite" sticks and sticks hard. Run those people in safe D areas, but if you want to flip a red state or district blue you need to put up someone the voters can reasonably see as "one of them". If that means running a working stiff who watches sports and drinks beer straight from a can, but also supports leftist causes, then that's who you should run. They're out there.
Counterpoint: Barack Obama, who seems to have connected fine with voters, was a constitutional law professor at one of the most elite law schools in the country.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:31 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


Mean is not hte same as lying.

I don't want us to lie. I just want us to give up this Marquess of Queensberry shit the Democrats seem so addicted to and fight back for real.

They're kicking the shit out of us, and anytime a leftist tries to fight back suddenly every Democrat in the universe is stumbling over themselves to denounce that leftist and declare that they, bipartisan nice guys that they are, would never ever condone meanness.

We don't need to lie. But we **DO** need to aggressively attack them on every front, demonize them, and paint them as the vile scumfuckers who want us all to die in poverty that they are.

The truth is more than sufficient. We just need to be mean, aggressive, and relentless with it.

Again, look at Clinton. Her basket of deplorables line was fantastic. And as soon as she got any pushback about how horrible and non-bipartisan and not nice it was she backed down and apologized. That was the exact wrong thing to do. She should have doubled down and fought as mean, as vicious, and as ugly as Trump did.
posted by sotonohito at 9:31 AM on June 21 [57 favorites]


It occurs to me that Democrats are like the Jedi Council--aloof, out of touch, well-meaning, but utterly unequipped to deal with the sociopathic amorality of the Republican Empire. Our unwillingness to climb down from the throne of erudite morality and get dirty with the GOP will lead to more electoral losses. But if we stop clinging to our ideals about justice, morality, and democracy, in some ways we're no better than the opposition. Right? I mean, it's almost as if the Democrats are *becoming* the conservative party, what with all the pearl-clutching over Mitch McConnell's violation of the traditional rules and procedural norms of the Senate chamber. The GOP is being run by a fucking radical turtle while the Democrats try to conserve the union and democratic ideals.
posted by xyzzy at 9:33 AM on June 21 [15 favorites]


From a senior Republican strategist.

@Ken_Spain
We lost PA-12 special in spring 2010. Tough loss and media said GOP was dead. Went on to win 63 seats six months later. #ThingsChange
posted by chris24 at 9:36 AM on June 21 [20 favorites]


There are a number of House Democrats who are in barely blue districts who will be vulnerable come re-election if they don't support Republican legislation on specific issues.
Signing on with the Republicans won't win them one Republican vote, nor will it prevent Republicans from demonizing them as the most leftist liberal ever. Appeasement does not work. It only depresses Democratic enthusiasm.
posted by LarsC at 9:37 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


So who the hell am I? But I'm gonna talk Ossof v. Handel.

We had 'em running scared. That counts. That counts a lot.

I'm drunk, I don't own a car, and I'm the son of a state DARE coordinator back in the day, and her heez rubbed off, at least enough to convince me that being drunk every day is problematic. Less problematic than freaking out about it. Four beers, FWIW.

We got close with a lazy campaign that matched spending. That means we reject that shit. We, as in a vast majority of most people, even the apathetic. That needs to be appreciated and savored. All we have to do is keep up the pressure and the funding, and find candidates that only mildly suck, and we can win this by attrition, if nothing else, and we (at least those of us who have no other reason to quake in fear, those of us unaffected unless we go full totalitarianism, but for those of us who are NOT in my position, I stand with you, because there but for the grace of god go I) can beat these fucks.

We almost won in a place where it was hopeless. That's huge.

I have a lot of hope, but I don't have much to lose. I will lose if we lose. Keep fighting. So will I.
posted by saysthis at 9:39 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


As for bipartisanship, that's fine except that the so-called GOP moderates always, always, always, always cave when pressured by the wingnuts. One or two might be allowed to cast a symbolic No that won't affect an outcome, or vote Yes in committee and No on a confirmation where only the former vote is meaningful, but Having Deep Concerns [tm J. McCain] means jack shit if you never ever defect for real.

Susan Collins has a conscience. She keeps it safe in a jar and waters it twice a week.
posted by delfin at 9:40 AM on June 21 [25 favorites]


"Mean" is not tough or resolute or realistic.

Mean is small-spirited, stingy, selfish, exclusive.

It is literally the opposite of generous, liberal, inclusive.

You can be generous, liberal, and inclusive AND tough, resolute, and realistic.

Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean.

Also mean people don't have any fun. "You got to have fun while you’re fightin’ for freedom, ’cause you don’t always win." -- Molly Ivins
 
posted by Herodios at 9:43 AM on June 21 [24 favorites]


> >> Is civility a greater value than life and death and war and human rights?

> I feel like this author doesn't understand that without the veneer of civility and "we're all in this together"


The "bipartisanship" the author is talking about is the treatment of both sides of a political debate as equals, not the treatment of the other side as human beings. Calling out bullshitters as bullshitters does not create conditions for a civil war -- dehumanizing the populace represented by those bullshitters does. I can treat rural Kansans and suburban Georgians as my fellow Americans, even as I believe many of them are stupidly wrong about policy. That's what the author is talking about. Taking a single quote out of context to make it look like a call to stop caring about anyone who votes Republican is not going to make for a useful dialogue.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:44 AM on June 21 [15 favorites]


Call it what you will, if you don't like "mean", try "vicious", try "aggressive", try "attacking the motherfuckers 24/7 holding nothing back".

But if we aren't relentlessly attacking the motherfuckers 24/7 then we're going to lose in 2018.
posted by sotonohito at 9:47 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


They're kicking the shit out of us, and anytime a leftist tries to fight back suddenly every Democrat in the universe is stumbling over themselves to denounce that leftist and declare that they, bipartisan nice guys that they are, would never ever condone meanness.

There's a reason for that. It's still not entirely clear that being overtly rude and sexist is a positive trait in a candidate running for office, or will increase public approval for office holders. Trump is an outlier, not the norm, and Clinton was not a normal candidate either. Lessons on voter distaste for rudeness, especially towards women, which have been drilled into Democrats through prior victories and failures.

Two of the most notable:
Clayton Williams refused to shake Ann Richards' hand during a 1990 debate for the Texas governorship. He also made a rape joke. And attacked Richards for being an alcoholic. He lost. When polled, voters cited those three things as reasons why.

Geraldine Ferraro (this is way back in 1984!) was asked at a campaign stop in Mississippi whether she could bake blueberry muffins by state Agriculture Commissioner Jim Buck Ross. Her response was "Sure! Can you?" It cost her votes from conservative Southerners. It wasn't just that she had snarked back at Ross, but that he was a 70 year old man, and a woman being disrespectful to an elderly man in public simply Wasn't Done. Had a younger man replied that way to Ross, no one would have blinked.

These are two of dozens of examples we could dig up and examine from throughout the last 50 years.

The jury is still out on whether negative political campaigns work. So Democrats hedge their bets -- a strategy they may very well have to unlearn now.
posted by zarq at 9:48 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


"Hey, hey, hey, hey, now. Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go—there you are."

Folks upstream mentioned framing, I really think that's the solution. It's negative but it's not evil.

It's worth revisiting this article from George Lakoff.
While Lakoff is an unabashed Berkeley progressive, he said Democrats are decades behind in understanding how to frame issues in a way that can reach swing voters.

“Protection is part of the progressive moral system, but it has not been celebrated enough,” Lakoff writes in Don’t Think of an Elephant. For example, progressives should start calling federal regulations “protections.” If they start re-framing Trump’s promise as “getting rid of two-thirds of federal protections” — and spell out what some of those environmental and health and water quality “protections” are — there might be less support for repealing federal regulations, Lakoff said.

“Every progressive knows that regulations are protections, but they don’t say it,” he added. Similarly, “taxes” are actually “investments in public resources.” Government investment pays for the infrastructure on which private industry and everything else is built, Lakoff said. “Roads, bridges, public education, national banks, the patent office, the judicial system, interstate commerce, basic science for drug development — all of that is financed by government investments.” Yet Democrats allow Republicans to frame the debate in terms of tax “relief,” he said.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:50 AM on June 21 [50 favorites]


A good breakdown of GA-06 and other specials by Cook Political Report. The closing:
Although it's true Democrats have agonizingly yet to capture a red district, they have outperformed their "generic" share of the vote significantly in every contest. Measured against the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI), Democrats have outperformed the partisan lean of their districts by an average of eight points in the past five elections.

If Democrats were to outperform their "generic" share by eight points across the board in November 2018, they would pick up 80 seats. Of course, that won't happen because Republican incumbents will be tougher to dislodge than special election nominees. But these results fit a pattern that should still worry GOP incumbents everywhere, regardless of Trump's national approval rating and the outcome of the healthcare debate in Congress.

Put another way, Democratic candidates in these elections have won an average of 68 percent of the votes Hillary Clinton won in their districts, while Republican candidates have won an average of 54 percent of Trump's votes. That's an enthusiasm gap that big enough to gravely imperil the Republican majority next November—even if it didn't show up in "the special election to end all special elections."
posted by chris24 at 9:50 AM on June 21 [23 favorites]


Mean is not hte same as lying.

I don't want us to lie. I just want us to give up this Marquess of Queensberry shit the Democrats seem so addicted to and fight back for real.

They're kicking the shit out of us, and anytime a leftist tries to fight back suddenly every Democrat in the universe is stumbling over themselves to denounce that leftist and declare that they, bipartisan nice guys that they are, would never ever condone meanness.


The mean/civil debate would probably advanced with specific examples; that would pre-empt the "do you really mean we should lie to people?" sort of question.
posted by Jpfed at 9:53 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure how "fight back" and "be overtly rude and sexist" are equivalent. At all.
posted by delfin at 9:55 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


Being aggressive is good. Not taking any shit is good. But be careful to clarify the message, clarify the contours of what's actually happening in the American middle-class.

I believe the biggest threat to our nation is corruption. Trump, and the complicit wing of the Republican party, represent the spirit of pure corruption let loose at the center of our institutions. Emoluments and alternative facts? That is financial and intellectual corruption. As a metaphor for how campaigns are run, there is no practical way to eliminate corruption with more corruption.
posted by kuatto at 9:56 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


I think we should be mean. But I'm using "mean" in the sense it's usually used against women -- not bending over backward or walking on eggshells to protect the feelings and integrity of people (men) who are hurting you.

We don't need to lie, we don't need to call people names, we don't need to turn to racism/sexism/the carceral system. We just need to be ok with being called bitches. (and they're going to call us bitches no matter what we do, so we might as well do what it takes to win)
posted by melissasaurus at 9:56 AM on June 21 [32 favorites]


I see plenty of Democrats who are forceful, resolute and principled, with clearly articulated values and ideologies. They are fighting. They don't get much press when they do, because they are often female, and/or brown. Ted Lieu is not getting censured from his party by having a hilarious, snarky, biting Twitter. I don't know where this idea that present-day Democrats are sitting around drinking our tea with lifted pinky-fingers as if nothing amiss is happening is coming from.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:57 AM on June 21 [39 favorites]


[I feel like the "democrats should be nice/mean" debate is rapidly approaching "relitigating the primaries" levels of pointlessness in terms of SNR.]
posted by jammer at 9:58 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


The kind of negative campaigning I'm hoping for from Democrats is the kind that treats Republican voters as good-faith participants in the political process who've been sold a bill of goods by the party they support. This may not be true -- many of them may be not just misinformed or hoodwinked but actively selfish and willfully ignorant -- but the message needs to be about the broken promises of supply-side economics, the failures of for-profit health insurance, the and the grievous errors of prominent Republicans who have embraced these and other pillars of GOP ideology. Sam Brownback's disaster in Kansas needs to be front-and-center, not just in Kansas, but anywhere that governors are proposing massive tax and public services cuts. Donald Trump's phony interventions in saving a couple hundred American jobs need to be contextualized against many of those same jobs leaving months later and the larger picture of hundreds of thousands of jobs disappearing because of the GOP's embrace of outsourcing, cost-cutting, and union-busting.

That's the kind of meanness I'm talking about. It's not dirty tricks to evaluate the performance of the people that these voters chose to represent them and point out where those policies have failed. Highlighting it won't convert any of the dead-enders, but it could help get some of the Obama->Trump vote back without compromising any gains with other core Democratic constituencies.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:59 AM on June 21 [15 favorites]


[PSA, please don't use the mod-style square brackets; it creates confusion. Just go ahead and make your suggestion in regular type.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:00 AM on June 21 [21 favorites]


Just go ahead and make your suggestion in regular type.

Fair point. To restate without edit window abuse in case mods want to delete my original:

I feel like the "democrats should be nice/mean" debate is rapidly approaching "relitigating the primaries" levels of pointlessness in terms of SNR.
posted by jammer at 10:03 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Far from played out, I feel like the nice/mean debate has barely gotten off the ground because people are still figuring out exactly what alternative behaviors are being considered under the exceedingly broad labels of "nice" and "mean". At the risk of repeating myself, I think the discussion will be more productive if people talk about the specific behaviors they're interested in.
posted by Jpfed at 10:03 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Re: messaging. Truly, it was a stroke of genius for Republicans to decide on "patient-centered" as a euphemism for "profit-centered death systems" in the discourse surrounding the AHCA.

Republicans: profit-centered :: Democrats: profit-progressives


No, that feels off-putting.

How about

"Republicans: profit-centered :: Democrats: people-centered"

or

"Republicans: profit-first:: Democrats: people-first"

or

"Republicans: people-last :: Democrats: people-first"
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:05 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Far from played out, I feel like the nice/mean debate has barely gotten off the ground...

This is just a suggestion, but perhaps if people want to have it, there may be a better venue for it? I may be the only one, but I feel like these mega-threads do best when extended debates about particular topics get spun off elsewhere.

Otherwise they blow up post counts and hurt those of us who want to get general news/updates without reading a lot of back and forth arguing.

I'll stop there, lest it sound too much like I'm thread-policing.
posted by jammer at 10:08 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


Signing on with the Republicans won't win them one Republican vote

You know who would disagree with you? Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Joe Lieberman and Joe Manchin. They won against Republican candidates (often repeatedly) because they caucused with the Republicans on most issues. Tester, Heitkamp and Manchin might as well declare themselves Republicans at this point.

I am not proposing that Democrats become those assholes. Those are extreme examples. But yes, working together with Republicans on selected issues (at this point, opposing Trump could conceivably unite them) may very well have an effect in the Senate. Repeating myself here: if legislation is absolutely, positively going to pass if every Democrat votes against it and all Republicans vote for it then the only way to stop said bill is to rope in on-the-fence Republicans. The Dems moral obligation is to do everything they can.

nor will it prevent Republicans from demonizing them as the most leftist liberal ever.

Yes. So? Who gives a shit?

Appeasement does not work. It only depresses Democratic enthusiasm.

This really doesn't have anything to do with what I was talking about, but Democrats aren't a monolith. We never were. There are Democratic constituencies throughout the country who agree with Republicans on certain issues.
posted by zarq at 10:08 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]



I want to win. And I will do whatever it takes to win. Will you?


Sorry, No. I'm all for fighting fire with fire up to a point, but foregoing ethics, propping up a media figurehead instead of a competent civil servant, being obstructionist to the point of destroying the system, and giving over civility in our civilization are not on the table for me.

I want the leaders I vote for to represent my values, the things i work for every day as i act on my beliefs as a citizen. I will fight against corruption, i will fight to have good people in office at every level of government I can vote for, but I sure as hell won't suffer fools simply because they have a (D) after their name.

The lens of history makes clear that this country has faced bigger challenges than the ones we presently face and leaders with courage, conviction and ability have stepped forward and have gotten the job done.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:13 AM on June 21 [18 favorites]


But if we aren't relentlessly attacking the motherfuckers 24/7 then we're going to lose in 2018.

In a democracy you win by persuading voters, not by attacking motherfuckers. The motherfuckers need to be separated from their motherfucking followers if anti-motherfuckerism is to succeed. Simply attacking motherfuckers tends to drive the motherfucker's motherfucking followers back to the motherfuckers, in tribal solidarity.

It's more productive -- 'though harder and less cathartic -- to continually demonstrate in motherfucking understandable terms, over and over again that the motherfuckers' plans are bad and harmful for the motherfucking motherfuckers motherfucking followers.

You might also want to take a page from the late ambassador Richard Holbrooke. In negotiations and in press interviews he would not permit inaccurate [by his lights] framing of an issue. I recall the late Erwin Knoll of The Progressive magazine had a similar style.

Attack bad ideas, harmful policies, and inconsistent positions, not people. People can change.

PS: Run for dog-catcher, school-board, city council, state rep, etc. and do this at every level. Non-motherfuckerism must be part of the background, foreground, conversation, and in the transcript at every level in divers places, n'shit.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:13 AM on June 21 [22 favorites]


I'm not sure how "fight back" and "be overtly rude and sexist" are equivalent. At all.

Well, I was responding to the comment that was made, not creating a strawman about the value of fighting back at all.

Among other things, the argument made was that Clinton should have "fought as mean, as vicious, and as ugly as Trump did." Not merely that she or the Democrats should fight back.
posted by zarq at 10:13 AM on June 21


When a white person comes to a black or brown space as a campaign stop … hell yes they need to do the work! They have to convince folks that they aren't taking the vote for granted, that they will truly work to be a representative of that constituency and actively work for the critical causes and issues.

Of course, and as zachlipton says, this GA-06 young Muslim is entitled to his feelings. And it's a problem if Ossoff didn't frame/handle the visit right. I have no idea if Ossoff has ever done/said the right things with regards to standing up for equality and that group's concerns. That all matters, a lot.

But I am kinda skeptical of larger meaning when this is tweet one & two:
Jon Ossoff came to my mosque Friday. He didnt try to win our vote, he just had a professional camera crew taking pics of him with hijabis.

Ossoff didn't really need to promise anything or work for our vote bc all the petty bourgeois Brown Muslim Americans were fawning over him.
Well, let's rephrase tweet one:
Jon Ossoff came to my mosque 96 hours before the election. He didnt try to win our vote, he just had a professional camera crew taking pics of him with hijabis.
and tweet two?
Ossoff didn't spend any time giving a speech, instead telling everyone there was a limited amount of time and the many people excited to see him and wanting pictures should make sure as many of them could be accommodated as possible before he had to go.
I don't know the reality leading up to this or Ossoff's positions (because I ain't in GA-06 and from 200 miles away all I needed to know as that he was less awful that Handel) and maybe he fucked up 9 ways to sunday. And white dude politicians need to do more than be not-R and shouldn't take votes from PoC for granted.

But it's a damned quick handpress appearance for the already excited less than a hundred hours before the election and where voting has already been underway by absentee for weeks. Of course it's quick and light on substance.

Nobody's getting converted in the waning hours. There's not time. That's not an excuse for failing sooner, but if this is the hill that a candidate has to cross for some voter? Giving them detailed time & policy talk in the final moments? Then nobody's gonna ever make that voter happy. They are no different at that point than the fellow who talks nonsense about Americans making themselves captive by being too free and not needing politics or whatever other blah blah rationalization they have for refusing to accept reality. This reality was the election is four nights of sleep away from happening and in 120 hours one of two people are gonna win. This one showed the fuck up to see the members of your group who were excited to see him.

Drink the water or not, bub, but at this point in GA-06 you had a billion opportunities to know what Ossoff's positions were and what the other choice looked like. That's not taking a PoC vote for granted or saying they have to fall in line. It's taking reality and the relentless progress of the clock at their word. Maybe or probably Ossoff fucked up with Muslim voters in the months before that, but as this is framed it sounds like the person angry that they didn't get a detailed conversation about the new book from the author at a busy book signing.
posted by phearlez at 10:15 AM on June 21 [27 favorites]


The name Molly Ivins came up. She could be civil, charming and quite approachable in her writing. She used facts, humor, nicknames (affectionate or not) and satire extremely effectively. She could also be stone cold mean and angry when the target was deserving, and did not shy away from calling an asshole an asshole. We need about a hundred more Molly Ivinses.

National Treasure Charles Pierce is our closest heir apparent. If someone would please send us a Charlie Brooker or ten, we need those too.
posted by delfin at 10:19 AM on June 21 [25 favorites]


Among other things, the argument made was that Clinton should have "fought as mean, as vicious, and as ugly as Trump did." Not merely that she or the Democrats should fight back.

Honestly I have no ethical problem with fighting dirty but the vast majority of Clinton's ads were attacks on Trump as a person, rather than policy grounds. Didn't work.
posted by lalex at 10:20 AM on June 21 [19 favorites]


She could also be stone cold mean and angry when the target was deserving, and did not shy away from calling an asshole an asshole.

"If his IQ were any lower, they'd have to water him twice a day." :D

We need about a hundred more Molly Ivinses.

Agreed.
posted by zarq at 10:23 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


> Honestly I have no ethical problem with fighting dirty but the vast majority of Clinton's ads were attacks on Trump the person, rather than policy grounds. Didn't work.

That it didn't work doesn't mean that it wasn't the right move. Trump was almost totally immune to attacks on policy grounds. Many times during the campaign he simply changed his policy positions to suit whatever the mood of the electorate was. This used to be called "flip-flopping" back in the day, but his stranglehold on the media narrative allowed him to skate on it. We can't properly evaluate the counterfactual of Hillary doing a majority issues-focused campaign against Trump, but I see no reason to believe it would have changed the outcome.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:25 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


NPR had a few interesting segments yesterday afternoon, and the transcripts are up now:

Congress Has A Rich History Of Legislating In Secrecy
JULIAN ZELIZER (Princeton University historian): When the Senate first met, there was an assumption that they would be a closed body and that they would meet in secret. And we've had a battle really since the founding through today of the tradeoff between that secrecy that some people think is required for good governing and transparency and accountability which many people think is equally important for our democracy to work.

KELLY MCEVERS (NPR host): Were people OK with the Senate being a closed body, though, in a certain way over periods of time?

ZELIZER: Well, we don't really have great - we have no popular opinion polls until the 1930s and '40s. And in the period we do have those - the 1950s and '60s, which is really the high point I think of a lot of this secrecy in the middle of the Cold War and when the committees in both the Senate and House were very strong and deliberated on their own - there wasn't a huge outcry against it. People certainly registered pretty high levels of trust in Congress certainly by the late '60s and early '70s.

MCEVERS: Could you give us an example of a major piece of legislation that was drafted during this time in secrecy without any public debate?

ZELIZER: Well, the Medicare legislation was passed in 1965. It's the first major health care program that we have. The heart of legislation was worked out in the House in the ways and means committee where the chairman, Wilbur Mills, a Democrat from Arkansas, basically took an administration proposal that had been the subject of hearings, took it behind closed doors and totally transformed the bill, turning it into what we have today. And even Lyndon Johnson didn't know exactly what was going on until one of his staffers who was in the room reported to him what the House had actually done to it. And the bill is considered really watershed legislation.
A History Of The Changes In Press Briefings
RON ELVING (NPR senior editor and correspondent): Ideally they should be informing the general public eager for information. They want to know how their government works, what it's doing. And these briefings can serve that function much of the time for much of the public. But let's face it. They also exist as a kind of collective for the media and for the White House itself. They serve the needs of the news organizations that send reporters to cover them, and that's especially true for the cable TV operations that carry them live as a feature of their daily programming.

And when you get over to the White House, well, even the most media-averse presidents - think Richard Nixon, for example - have come around to seeing that briefings at the White House are a marvelous way to reach the public.

AUDIE CORNISH (NPR host): You mention Nixon, but how far back can we go in terms of these briefings?

ELVING: Well, the first reporters started going to the White House on a daily basis in the 1890s. Woodrow Wilson had the first formal press conference. Both Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt liked to have lots of informal off-the-record sessions with reporters. And the first...

CORNISH: So off the record is not a terrible thing.

ELVING: Well, off the record is an old thing. It has its uses. But if it's the only way you get to talk to the president, as it often has been, that's certainly not a good thing for the public.
WTF, Audie? Were you just trying to prompt Ron to clarify the problem with off-the-record updates?

Who Are The Lawyers Investigating Russia's Meddling In U.S. Elections? President Trump has brought on a team of outside lawyers to help him navigate congressional investigations and the one being led by special counsel Robert Mueller. We look at who is on the team.
  • Marc Kasowitz, President Trump's personal lawyer, has represented Trump and his businesses for 15 years. On the day of Comey's testimony, he read from a statement and took no questions: "The president feels completely vindicated and is eager to continue moving forward." He hasn't made any public remarks since. He has represented Trump on real estate transactions, libel cases and the Trump University fraud lawsuit settled late last year for $25 million. But perhaps his highest-profile case was in the 1990s, when Kasowitz represented Liggett, the smallest of the big tobacco companies that broke with the industry and began settling lawsuits.
  • Jay Sekulow is now the public face of President Trump's legal team. His specialty is First Amendment religious liberty cases. He's argued 12 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. His biggest was in 1987, in a case where he represented Jews for Jesus, who wanted to pass out literature, against the Los Angeles Airport, who didn't want them to distribute the material. In the 1990s, he founded the American Center for Law and Justice with evangelical minister Pat Robertson. Not only does ACLJ pursue religious liberty cases, it fought the building of a mosque near Ground Zero and even has a call-in show that airs on hundreds of stations nationwide.
  • Kasowitz just brought on another lawyer, John Dowd. He's best-known for the Dowd Report, which made the case for Pete Rose's lifetime ban from baseball for gambling on the game. But more to the point, Dowd is a seasoned Washington hand who represented key players in both the Keating Five and Iran-Contra scandals, experience that would be quite valuable if the president is, in fact, being investigated for obstruction of justice by the special counsel.
    posted by filthy light thief at 10:31 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


    Trump was almost totally immune to attacks on policy grounds. Many times during the campaign he simply changed his policy positions to suit whatever the mood of the electorate was. This used to be called "flip-flopping" back in the day, but his stranglehold on the media narrative allowed him to skate on it.

    I never understood why Trump wasn't constantly hit with ads that just said "he'll say whatever it takes to get your vote even if it's different from what he said yesterday." Video clips were plentiful.

    Maybe that wasn't gonna switch any votes to HRC, who had been part of a 30 year smear campaign about her honesty, but grossing people out about their party's candidate so they just stay home is a time honored tactic as well.

    Then again I never understood why there weren't endless ads with "Like being able to keep your kid on your health insurance till age 25? Thank the Affordable Care Act" and a bit from pols who voted for it now seeking reelection. So my confusion knows no limits I guess.
    posted by phearlez at 10:31 AM on June 21 [18 favorites]


    David Brooks latest drivel came up in the last thread, but I missed that he said this:

    And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.

    Thanks for giving him the platform for these gems of wisdom New York Times!
    posted by diogenes at 10:33 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Honestly I have no ethical problem with fighting dirty but the vast majority of Clinton's ads were attacks on Trump the person, rather than policy grounds. Didn't work.

    On that note: The Week/Ryan Cooper—The big lesson of Ossoff's defeat is that Democrats must run on policy

    Now, a decent bunch of that article really comes down to "Ossoff should have run on my policy," which is a very different matter. But as best I could tell from far away, GA-06, in the race that played out on people's TV screens and mailboxes, came down to a ton of attacks and very little actual policy. Clinton had, ahem, binders full of policy, and she rolled it out in her stump speech and during the debates, but the actual enduring messages that came through in 2016 were pretty much entirely personal attacks. Take a look at the Gallup word clouds. Trump's policies were both horrible and total scams, but you can't deny that they came through loud and clear. As for Clinton, it's just the word "tax" buried beneath "email" and "Benghazi."

    One party just voted to take away health insurance from 23 million people, and the other one wants to stop it. This shouldn't be so hard.
    posted by zachlipton at 10:33 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


    A: "Your favorite candidate's a flip-flopper."
    B: "Who cares, I like that guy! You see him with that coal miner's helmet on?"

    vs.

    A: "The candidate you don't like isn't perfect, but they're far better for the country than your candidate."
    B: "Yeah? Then how come they said ice cream was their favorite dessert on Monday—only to turn around and say the Yankees were their favorite baseball team on Wednesday?"

    I don't envy the people who run political campaigns at all.
    posted by Rykey at 10:34 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


    Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.
    That hit close. My fav uncle and aunti lost just about all they had in whitewater. Never got a dime back and passed away dead broke. For me it means something.

    posted by shockingbluamp at 10:37 AM on June 21


    Counterpoint: Barack Obama, who seems to have connected fine with voters, was a constitutional law professor at one of the most elite law schools in the country.

    Who was also gregarious, could talk sports with ease and would drink a beer out of a can without a second thought. Same goes for Bill Clinton.
    Most losing Dem candidates (and losing Repubs, btw) weren't at ease with regular folks and seemed to be forcing it when they tried. Even obviously-elite Trump is relaxed and friendly with the proles.

    Most people do not cast their vote based on issues, facts, or, apparently, competence. Personality wins and loses elections more than anything else.
    posted by rocket88 at 10:37 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


    I never understood why Trump wasn't constantly hit with ads that just said "he'll say whatever it takes to get your vote even if it's different from what he said yesterday."

    He was never going to change his position on being a racist shitbag. He was never going to change from being something that liberals despised. He was never NOT going to be a man running against a woman, and therefore was never going to lose his appeal to sexism.

    Hypocrisy was never a deterrent for his voters. In fact, given that liberals actually cared about it, his hypocrisy was just another feature.
    posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:38 AM on June 21 [20 favorites]


    Signing on with the Republicans won't win them one Republican vote

    You know who would disagree with you? Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp, Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Joe Lieberman and Joe Manchin.

    The list of Democrats who thought they'd be helped by signing on with Republicans and then lost anyway is a little longer.
    posted by LarsC at 10:39 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    We can't properly evaluate the counterfactual of Hillary doing a majority issues-focused campaign against Trump

    I don't disagree with this, just pushing back on the idea that HRC lost because of a refusal to get mean. (this is not a criticism.)

    I'll tell you what though, I'm in NYC but during the campaign used a service that provided live network TV out of Pennsylvania. I noted at the time in comments I'm not even going to bother to try and find that there were a TON of ads about how terrible Trump is (true!), but there wasn't much on the air about what Democratic policies would do for you, and how Republican policies would negatively affect you.

    I don't want to relitigate the campaign, but I do think this is something to think about moving forward, especially as most D candidates aren't running against someone as cartoonishly awful as Trump.
    posted by lalex at 10:40 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


    They win by whipping up pogroms.

    like, the pogroms take different forms, and the targets change, but that's how they win. With the emphasis on that word they. Because we want justice and equality where they want violence and inequality, their methods simply won't work for us.

    Although it may be necessary at some point to purge fascists and their lapdogs and their patsies, that is not how we win.

    We win by building social solidarity among oppressed people, by providing mutual material support to each other, and by training ourselves and our neighbors to listen to each other instead of to the gaslighting lies of the fascists and their patsies and their lapdogs. (what does a fascist patsy look like? what does a fascist lapdog looks like? They look like David Brooks begging for bipartisanship. They look like John McCain furrowing his brow with impotent concern. They look like Dianne Feinstein calling for civility and doing fuckall.)

    here is how we win.
    • put large numbers of permanent paid activists/cadre on the ground in every district in every state, primarily tasked with building the party rather than with winning any particular election. everyone aside from the cloistered rich should personally know at least one person whose livelihood depends upon the success of the Democratic Party (or of whichever organization is best at hijacking the Democratic Party name).
    • Establish party-branded welfare measures so that everyone who's not rich has material evidence that the party is on their side. Free breakfast programs are a good start. party-branded meals on wheels services for the elderly, medical and dental care provided by the party, party support for actions to stop evictions, etc. shamelessly evade/exploit loopholes in whatever laws exist to prevent parties from turning themselves into this sort of mass political movement.
    • Establish party support for frequent and rowdy mass action on the streets -- the party (or whoever's hijacking it) must both produce dissent through agitation and shape extant dissent into effective action. Play footsie with the idea of mass fiscal noncompliance -- organized movements to refuse to pay rents, mortgages, student loans, and other odious debts.
    • in short, abandon the idea of the party as primarily investing in winning particular elections and embrace the idea of the party as a tool to produce direct mass political action outside of the frame of any particular election. Electoral gains will come as a side effect of mass political action that exceeds the bounds of electoral politics; by fetishizing particular elections, or electoral politics on the whole, the Democratic Party effectively depoliticizes itself, and thereby sets itself up to lose everywhere.
    Some of this biz seems pie-in-the-sky right now — but the situation is changing so quickly that things that seemed pie-in-the-sky can suddenly and unexpectedly find their way into party platforms. Consider how quickly Corbyn changed both the terms of political debate in the U.K. and the structure of the Labour Party.

    Our reach will exceed our grasp. Even so, even if we can't get the pie-in-the-sky stuff, that has to be our goal. The closer we get to our impossible targets, the more successful we will be.

    This stuff is all as fully outside the standards of liberal civility as pogroms are, because liberal standards of civility are fucked — they're mostly about making the comfortable classes more comfortable. Liberal standards of political action present giving material support to the poor as déclassé, as "going low." This doesn't mean that it's really low, though. It's not low. It's ethical, far more ethical than liberal constructions of political civility are.

    When they go low, we go revolutionary.
    posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:41 AM on June 21 [69 favorites]


    Hypocrisy was never a deterrent for his voters. In fact, given that liberals actually cared about it, his hypocrisy was just another feature.

    They're not all one voter. Didn't have to convince them all or impact the ones who really wanted to stick it to the brown folk. Didn't need to get through to ones who will show up and punch the R button come hell or high water. Only needed to keep 100,000 of them home in the right states. Reporters have managed to find ones worried about their health care and ones pissed he hasn't done some things he said he would. If they can find em then they were out there.

    This binary all/none outlook on elections is counter productive. Election season isn't one fight, it's thousands.
    posted by phearlez at 10:43 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    Motivating the people who aren't voting at all is going to be a far better fight than trying to sway the people who somehow looked at Trump and thought, in any capacity, that they could vote for him.
    posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:46 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


    > Motivating the people who aren't voting at all is going to be a far better fight than trying to sway the people who somehow looked at Trump and thought, in any capacity, that they could vote for him.

    This is true, but there aren't 218 House votes in just the blue districts plus the non-Trumpy purple ones. We've got to put some wins on the board in areas where substantial numbers of people voted for him. They won't be voting against Hillary this time, at least.
    posted by tonycpsu at 10:52 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    soren_lorensen:

    I see plenty of Democrats who are forceful, resolute and principled, with clearly articulated values and ideologies. They are fighting. They don't get much press when they do, because they are often female, and/or brown. Ted Lieu is not getting censured from his party by having a hilarious, snarky, biting Twitter. I don't know where this idea that present-day Democrats are sitting around drinking our tea with lifted pinky-fingers as if nothing amiss is happening is coming from.

    Sometimes I feel like the "Democrats just don't fight" narrative hasn't entirely updated with changes in the Age of Trump, and is still stuck in the Era of Bush (and, yes, Obama). And that there's a small amount of motivated reasoning behind seeing this this way -- not that it's totally wrong!

    When when it comes to the need to appeal to far-leftist fence-sitters, I'm torn. On the one hand, I definitely wish there was more consistent conviction, not more looking-over-shoulders to see how it plays to the middle. On the other hand, a given potential voter not being pleased enough to vote thus far is an indicator (not proof!) of that person being, well, hard to please. Perhaps justifiably hard to please, if that's not a contradiction.

    I guess the question comes down to, when is opposition really about the candidate (obvious example: Joe Lieberman)? And when is it about the voter (who might pride themselves on purity -- but more likely just feels ignored to an extent that regaining trust could involve considerable political cost)?
    posted by InTheYear2017 at 10:53 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    Motivating the people who aren't voting at all is going to be a far better fight than trying to sway the people who somehow looked at Trump and thought, in any capacity, that they could vote for him.

    You understand that convincing the marginals that HRC was gross/awful/whatever and that they should just stay home or vote 3rd party was just shown to be a winning strategy, right? And, again: there's more than one fight to have.
    posted by phearlez at 10:54 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Sarah Kendzior - Don’t focus on Georgia. Voter suppression is the issue
    Every burgeoning autocracy exploits pre-existing injustices. In the United States, race-based voter suppression has long been in play and Russian interference remains an active threat. Given the Trump administration’s unwillingness to confront white supremacists and its willingness to rewrite laws, one cannot assume that voter rights will not be removed for arbitrary and unfair reasons. Ensuring them requires constant vigilance.
    I would expect that as midterms get closer, this administration will double-down on efforts to restrict voting rights, especially if Sessions is still leading the DOJ. Even though it's based on lies, if the numbers start to scare Trump, his Voter Fraud Commission may provide the pretext for suppression tactics.
    posted by gladly at 10:54 AM on June 21 [18 favorites]


    One party just voted to take away health insurance from 23 million people, and the other one wants to stop it. This shouldn't be so hard.

    It really shouldn't. But you're dealing with millions of others framing it as:
    a) a refusal to give the slightest thought to those who are unfortunate, who should just Get A Job
    b) reflexive Everything Government Does Is Wrong _even if they themselves will benefit_
    c) okay, give me _my_ benefits but don't dare spend a dime of my taxes on the undeserving
    d) how dare libtards and Kenyans force me to pay for insurance! Being uninsured and a destitute burden waiting to happen is FREEEEEEDOMMM

    Some just don't understand. Others understand it all too well and just act from pure self-interest and contempt.
    posted by delfin at 10:56 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]




    Charlie Pierce: The 'Moderate' Republican Senator Is a Dangerous Myth
    Here's what I think will happen: McConnell will roll out his bill on Thursday. It will suck gallons of pondwater, as expected. It will be transparently a vehicle for shoving the nation's wealth upwards and only incidentally a bill concerning America's healthcare system, which it will make immeasurably worse for the great majority of the people in the country. All of these things will deepen the concern and more deeply trouble the "moderate" Republicans, who will be very public in their deep concern and in the depths of their troublehood. (The conservatives will look at it and think, well, this still has to go to conference and we can make it worse because the Republicans in the House are largely insane.) Susan Collins and Rob Portman will find themselves sniffing great bouquets of microphones over the following several days.

    At some point, the Congressional Budget Office will release its score for the bill, measuring precisely how many gallons of pondwater the bill sucks. Meanwhile, back on Capitol Hill, McConnell and his leadership team will paint pretty flowers on the uglier parts of the bill and, one by one, enough of the "moderates" will pronounce themselves satisfied that their deep concerns have been satisfied most deeply, and that they no longer are as deeply troubled as they once were. A couple of them—Collins, say, or Lisa Murkowski—even will be allowed to vote against the bill, provided the winning margin of 50-plus-Pence is in the bag.

    The tell in all this is how many of the "moderate" Republicans are complaining about the "process" now, rather than pointing out how many gallons of pondwater the bill will suck. True, this bill should not pass because of the blatantly undemocratic way it has been conceived and constructed. But it also should not pass because it very likely will immiserate countless vulnerable Americans due to the gallons of pondwater that it will suck. If your basic concern about it is the former, then you're already lost.
    I think a lot of this applies to "moderate" conservatives in the general populace as well, many of whom went along with the crazies and got quite incensed over death panels and the alleged creep of socialism and all the other wingnut myths that your average Fox News viewer spewed. Almost none of them have taken responsibility or showed any contrition for this over the last eight years.
    posted by zombieflanders at 11:00 AM on June 21 [43 favorites]


    They win by whipping up pogroms.

    As someone who had several not-so-distant ancestors who died during pogroms, perhaps this is not a word to casually throw around if you don't have more of an understanding of what a fucking pogrom actually was.
    posted by zarq at 11:03 AM on June 21 [24 favorites]


    The name Molly Ivins came up.

    True story: she inspired me to suggest my daughter's name when my ex and I were picking names.

    I'm at a loss. I don't have any suggestions at this point except we have to keep on pushing back and trying to make gains somehow. I can't even stand to look sometimes we're on such a crap trajectory. I don't see any hope without some early end to the admin because institutional change can be hard to reverse once it gains momentum and they're setting the direction for the future right now.
    posted by saulgoodman at 11:06 AM on June 21


    I listened to the NPR Politics Podcast so you don't have to. What are the latest hot takes in shitty "both sides"ism?

    In the latest episode, they describe the process for drafting the AHCA as "a little different" but not totally unprecedented. The words "secret" and "tax cut" are never used. It's all "behind closed doors".

    Prior to that, they described how the problem with the ACA was that it passed on a party-line vote because Democrats didn't work with Republicans, so of course the AHCA will also be totally partisan as well because that's just the bed that Democrats made for themselves when they were so mean with the ACA and never made any compromises on the public option or taxes or anything else.
    posted by 0xFCAF at 11:07 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


    Roll Call says that the GOP might effectively overrule the Senate Parliamentarian if they run into issues getting the health care bill to the required $1 billion in savings under the HELP Committee so that they can still pass it under reconciliation. It's a technical matter, but another chip away at Senate norms and the filibuster. The plan appears to now be bill text released Thursday, with a CBO score Friday, with a vote next week, though it's unclear whether there will be major changes next week (the article below cites Susan Collins for saying the score is coming Monday, so it will be a bit of a surprise).

    Margaret Sullivan: A troubling health-care bill rushes forward in secret. The media (mostly) shrug.
    Early Wednesday, 52 headlines on CNN’s homepage covered everything from a special election in Georgia to “More ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ fallout.”

    Not one mentioned the Senate’s health-care bill. Nothing shouted the distressing idea that 23 million Americans stand to lose their health insurance. Nothing screamed that the Senate will probably vote on — and approve — the legislation next week, even though it’s being worked on behind closed doors, hidden from the public, from experts and from Democratic lawmakers.

    CNN is not alone. At 7 a.m. Wednesday, USA Today’s homepage covered this crucial topic only in an opinion piece; not in a single news story, and with nothing on the front page of its print edition. On Fox News Channel’s homepage, the health news section pondered, “Does Werewolf Syndrome really exist?” but there was no mention of the Senate bill.

    And in the first two weeks of June, according to a study, the three broadcast news networks gave the subject a combined three minutes of attention.
    There's been really good coverage from the Congressional and health care reporters, but if you rely on TV news, you have no clue that a life-or-death situation is up for a vote next week. Where's the March for Health Care? Where's the outrage?

    Axios: What we know about the GOP Senate health bill. Short version is you can't charge sick people more, but states can waive essential health benefits and the definition of a quality health plan, meaning you don't have to provide sick people with coverage for their illnesses anymore. The changes to the tax credits are less dramatic than the House version, but will be scaled back from the ACA. Medicaid is still cut even worse than the House bill. The end result is still the same: take hundreds of billions of dollars of health care away from poor people and give it out as tax cuts for the wealthy.

    But, they're realizing they can't get the anti-abortion restrictions through reconciliation, which could mean losing the stability fund and the restrictions on the tax credits entirely. At no point in this process does anybody appear to be asking any questions about health policy, like whether losing a $100 billion stability fund might have some kind of an effect, as they're too busy trying to ram something through.
    posted by zachlipton at 11:08 AM on June 21 [19 favorites]




    You need more *candidates* like that. Especially in rural or suburban districts or states. Too many Dem candidates seem to be uptight academics with no social connectability.

    As opposed to dumb-ass Republican candidates with no social acuity and a disgusting worldview?

    Also, knowing stuff and being educated isn't a sign of poor character, and I reiterate that believing that it is is buying into the longstanding Republican narrative against liberalism, progressiveness, and education as a value. Being an uptight academic is a lot better than being a shit-kicker with no understanding of how government and policy work. Enough of that garbage about how people need to dumb themselves down for the lowest common denominator. We have that now, how's it working out? Oh, extremely poorly for everyone. Yeah, let's not keep driving that nonsense about how being educated makes you an asshole.
    posted by Autumnheart at 11:13 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


    Jennifer Rubin, WaPo: Three lessons for Trump opponents from Tuesday’s special elections
    First, Democrats must tie Republican incumbents explicitly (both Republicans in the Tuesday races were replacing incumbents) to Trump and to votes on health care and other unpopular measures. It’s one thing to warn voters that the Republican is likely to go along with Trump’s agenda; it’s another to reel off a list of votes that betray working- and middle-class Americans[…]

    Second, Democrats need to figure out a positive agenda on which to run. In a statement after the GA-6 loss, MoveOn.org complained: “In the closing weeks of the race, [Jon] Ossoff and the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] missed an opportunity to make Republicans’ attack on health care the key issue, and instead attempted to portray Ossoff as a centrist, focusing on cutting spending and coming out in opposition to Medicare for All. This approach did not prove a recipe for electoral success."[…]

    Third, Republicans who have held firm and opposed Trump cannot count on Democrats to knock out Trump enablers. #NeverTrump Republicans should, where feasible, consider primary challenges and/or third-party races to present voters with an alternative center-right candidate, someone who will insist on enforcement of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, root out Trumpian corruption, demand that the president fulfill promises to rebuild the military and take on his complete failure to reform the bureaucracy.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:15 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


    nonasuch: "I have a dumb question, re GA-06: the seat goes up for grabs in 2018 along with the rest, right? So basically Handel has a year and a half to get Trump stink on her with the rest of the House Rs, and if they've shit the bed badly enough that the current wave is even 2 points stronger, she's out. Right?"

    Yes, the special election was just to fill out Price's unfinished term. It will be up again in November 2018, just like all other House seats.
    posted by Chrysostom at 11:16 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    Apologies for Twitter links, but I don't think these photos are up anywhere else yet. The Iowa women's march people have put up a series of billboards near where the Trump rally is tonight. It turns out that getting electronic billboards for a day is pretty cheap, which might be something to keep in mind for next time Trump is in your neck of the woods.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:18 AM on June 21 [49 favorites]


    jackbishop: "But at the end of the day, it would be nice to win something. Not necessarily a big important flashy race. Have we maybe picked up a legislature seat somewhere? For morale purposes, I mean."

    Yes. The Democrats have picked up New Hampshire House district 6 and New York Assembly district 9.
    posted by Chrysostom at 11:18 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


    Can someone explain to me why they keep bringing up restrictions on what can and can't be changed during reconciliation?

    There's nothing in the Constitution about that, it's just Congressional rules. IIRC when they run into a Congressional rule conflict the majority party can basically just say "we want to do it this way" and move on.

    So why **CAN'T** the Republicans just do literally anything they want under reconciliation and tell the Democrats to pound sand if they don't like it?

    Obviously anyone with the faintest bit of honor, integrity, respect for process, rule of law, fairness, and so on would have a problem, but they're Republicans so obviously none of that would be an issue. Of course possible fear of Democratic retaliation if the Democrats ever get a majority again might hold them back, but the Democrats have proven time and again that they'll never retaliate, so again no problem.

    It seems like a perfect way for them to get what they want without technically nuking the filibuster.

    Is there actually anything stopping them from just putting absolutely anything they want in the bill and passing it via reconciliation?
    posted by sotonohito at 11:25 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    Also, knowing stuff and being educated isn't a sign of poor character, and I reiterate that believing that it is is buying into the longstanding Republican narrative against liberalism, progressiveness, and education as a value. Being an uptight academic is a lot better than being a shit-kicker with no understanding of how government and policy work. Enough of that garbage about how people need to dumb themselves down for the lowest common denominator. We have that now, how's it working out? Oh, extremely poorly for everyone. Yeah, let's not keep driving that nonsense about how being educated makes you an asshole.

    I'm not sure what you're arguing against because I said none of those things. I'm talking about what the mass of non-political people vote for, not what you or I think.
    Obama and Bill Clinton were highly educated candidates and won over many voters in large part because they were relaxed and folksy. This did so without dumbing-down or downplaying their achievements in any way.

    I agree an uptight academic is better than a shit-kicker with no understanding. So do most of the people reading this. But you have to understand and accept that the majority of voters don't care about any of that stuff, and will vote for the shit-kicker if he or she is someone they identify with or think they could be friends with.

    We can't afford to assume other people think and act like we do. And we can't write them off either because their votes count as much as ours, and they outnumber us.
    posted by rocket88 at 11:29 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


    zachlipton: "
    On that note: The Week/Ryan Cooper—The big lesson of Ossoff's defeat is that Democrats must run on policy

    Now, a decent bunch of that article really comes down to "Ossoff should have run on my policy," which is a very different matter.
    "

    Yglesias jokes after every election, "This outcome validates my policy preferences." Seeing a whole lot of that today.
    posted by Chrysostom at 11:31 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    Dan Merica, Lauren Fox and MJ Lee, CNN: Senate to White House on health care: No Trump, please

    Could Trump be goaded into commenting on the upcoming 'health care' bill and lowering the possibility of it passing?
    posted by ZeusHumms at 11:31 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    So why **CAN'T** the Republicans just do literally anything they want under reconciliation and tell the Democrats to pound sand if they don't like it?

    I'm honestly lost on this one as well. Republicans have been shitting all over norms in the Senate for years now with no political penalty. After stealing a Supreme Court seat but taking the White House, Senate, and House, you'd think they'd embrace the fact that they somehow get a free pass on this and really take advantage of it.

    Like, if you somehow realized the police didn't care if you robbed a bank, why would you only take the $20s? The $100s are right there. Just go for it, man. John McCain will be there in a Reagan mask going "I'm really concerned about how we're taking money without asking" as he shovels Benjamins into a burlap sack. What is holding them back?
    posted by 0xFCAF at 11:33 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


    This is...There are no words. The littlest lobbyist: a 6-year-old, whose life depends on ACA, heads to Capitol Hill. Sen. Portman's office was the only GOP office that would meet with them. The GOP leadership has time for Bono though.

    Politico: Congressional Black Caucus expected to decline Trump meeting
    The Trump administration, sources said, has done nothing to advance the CBC's priorities since the group's executive board first met with Trump in March. And members are worried the request for a caucus-wide meeting would amount to little more than a photo op that the president could use to bolster his standing among African-Americans.

    “No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show,” said one senior Democratic aide.
    But check this out:
    But multiple CBC members said they were put off that she signed the invitation as “the Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised.
    Photo of the signature here. For the record, White House senior staff are sometimes called "the Honorable", but not by Emiily Post's standards, and even if you are honorable, you don't sign your own letters like that.

    And Jennifer Rubin: McConnell is turning the Senate into a knock-off of the House
    Of course, all that is necessary to end this travesty is three GOP senators willing to stand up and say, “No. Stop.” With only 52 Republicans in the Senate that would be sufficient to stop this reprehensible rush to decision, one that evidences little concern for one-sixth of the economy they would disrupt and for the lives of tens of millions of Americans who could be dramatically harmed.
    posted by zachlipton at 11:36 AM on June 21 [43 favorites]


    I'm surprised even one Republican had the gall, nerve, whatittakes, to meet with one of the people they're condemning to death.
    posted by sotonohito at 11:42 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    Obama and Bill Clinton were highly educated candidates and won over many voters in large part because they were relaxed and folksy. This did so without dumbing-down or downplaying their achievements in any way.

    Right, and look how well their administrations turned out. They won elections, but they couldn't actually accomplish anything approaching a productive agenda because the Republicans in both cases decided that demonizing both men and diminishing their ability to govern by any means possible was their new favorite thing. And in fact, it was so successful that it continued for 20 years, ruined Hillary's chances of being elected, and gave rise to a president that is so stupid and insane that he will happily destroy anything that Obama did, expressly because Obama did it, even if it is objectively a terrible idea to do so.

    And yes, the last thing we should be doing is blaming qualified, educated candidates for NOT being appealing enough to the Joe Sixpacks of the nation. Joe Sixpack is voting for Trump. And not because Trump is such a nice, charming guy with wide appeal to the populace of the nation, but because he totally isn't.
    posted by Autumnheart at 11:43 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


    So, I will stay out of the "what do the Dems need to do?" discussion. I will point out that there are still LOTS of elections this year, where you can help.

    * There are numerous state legislature special elections before November. Flippable has a list, with candidate webpage links.

    * There are a passel of Washington state specials in November, which could return WA to unified Dem control.

    * And there are the VA gov/lt gov/AG and House of Delegates races. Flipping the VA House is a stretch, but not impossible. (There's NJ, too, but it looks pretty solidly Dem).

    These state ones tend to be really small bore and neglected - if you can help by donating $25, or by canvassing or making phone calls a few times, that can really make a significant difference!

    It's greatly underappreciated how much policy comes out of the state legislatures. Please - if you are worried about where we are headed, consider helping out on some of the above races.
    posted by Chrysostom at 11:47 AM on June 21 [38 favorites]


    So why **CAN'T** the Republicans just do literally anything they want under reconciliation and tell the Democrats to pound sand if they don't like it?

    They can, but they have to live with it being used against their goals in the future. So they need to weigh the reward - get this through - against the risk. They accepted the cost in removing the supreme court cloture requirement because they were looking at a chance at a seismic shift in the court balance and because the math and ages of current justices increases their shot at a payoff. And it's a payoff that continues past the 2018 and 2020 elections.

    Altering the reconciliation limits, or the filibuster, has much more immediate possible consequences. Unlike an appointed for life justice, this rule change could mean that they get what they want now but it's immediately flipped in 2020. And when it's this potentially toxic that's all the more likely.
    posted by phearlez at 11:48 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Assuming it is flipped, but then they have 4 years and a ton of Russian hackers to make sure that doesn't happen.
    posted by Autumnheart at 11:53 AM on June 21


    Re: changing the rules to get past reconciliation difficulties. You'd have to get a majority of GOP senators to agree to it. That's hard because those arcane rules give individual senators independence from Senate and party leadership --- the obstacles create negotiating opportunities for individual senators to get concessions for their various constituencies. Any vote that greases the legislative skids is a vote for reduced power for individuals. It's not an easy vote to win, trying to do it can fracture the facade of consensus, and losing weakens leadership, so it's better left alone.
    posted by notyou at 11:54 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Reconciliation isn't like the filibuster. It's not a matter of Senate rules. The guys who wrote the Budget Act of 1974 knew the Senate would be squirrelly about matters of internal rules, so they codified it into Federal law. It's 2 USC 641 (2 USC 631-645a are the whole law, pretty much). The three-fifths requirement to waive the Byrd Rule expired under federal law in 2002, and is currently a Senate rule (contrary to what I had commented earlier).
    posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:57 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


    >> They win by whipping up pogroms.

    > As someone who had several not-so-distant ancestors who died during pogroms, perhaps this is not a word to casually throw around if you don't have more of an understanding of what a fucking pogrom actually was.


    I do know what it means and I stand by what I said. The right in America are the people who burned the Black Wall Street in Tulsa in 1921. They're the people who riot to keep Black children out of schools. They're the people who've been lynching Black people from the fall of the Confederacy all the way to the present day. They're the people who shoot up churches and mosques. Who think that cops are justified in murdering children of color. They're not aggressively targeting Jewish communities right now, but give them time and they will.

    The right wins by whipping up pogroms. I do not retract the statement.
    posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:58 AM on June 21 [40 favorites]


    Speaking as another person related to/descended from the victims of pogroms, I have no objection to the use of the word in this context.
    posted by Faint of Butt at 12:02 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


    Also, they're betting that the Dems won't see the shit they're pulling and decide to play by the GOP's own rules -- specifically, "rules only matter until they stop us from getting something we really want." Since the parties want different things that are affected by different norms and procedures, this way the Republicans can keep doing whatever they want, and if/when they take power Democrats will still feel constrained by the limits on the separate stuff they want.
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:03 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    [Maybe let's leave it at that, on the specific question of whether "progrom" is the proper term for organized racist attacks in the US; we can object to the attacks whatever term gets used so the core point doesn't really depend on the term.]
    posted by LobsterMitten at 12:04 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    Word is that Ron Johnson here in Wisconsin is saying the healthcare vote should be delayed until after the recess next month. The official statement isn't loading on his site right now (link for posterity, found on his press release page), and from what I'm hearing on unofficial sources the wording might have some weasel words about being able simply needing the information to "justify a yes vote", but his office is answering phone calls by talking about waiting to vote.
    posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:10 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    Don't give up For a long while, I haven't been able to listen to music because of stress, but now and then I have openings. Here's one
    posted by mumimor at 12:12 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]




    Ah, news article on Johnson's statements on healthcare.
    “I am going to need the information to justify a yes vote. I’ll need the information to vote on a very imperfect bill that doesn’t even come close to doing the things that I want to see done,” Johnson said.

    ...

    He did not rule out voting for the GOP bill next week despite the reservations he expressed Wednesday.

    “Never say never,” he told the Journal Sentinel. The second-term Republican said that assuming there is a vote next week, “my evaluation will be, is it an improvement over the current situation? … I will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

    ...

    “I am in a hurry to stabilize the markets,” said Johnson, but not in the same hurry to pass a repeal-and-replace bill by next week.

    “I am not agreeing with (my) leadership on that,” he said.
    So, you know, he's concerned. Heard that before. Better than nothing?
    posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:26 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    Just to add to zachlipton's earlier comment about the lack of awareness surrounding the healthcare bill, The Post recently published an op-ed damning the impotency, cowardice, greed, and/or apathy of popular media outlets regarding this issue. Not that it prescribes any solutions, but the author does give credit to the work being done at FAIR.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 12:26 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


    Letter from the Congressional Black Caucus declining to meet with Trump. In summary: we gave you a 130-page policy document when we met with you in March, along with half a dozen letters to members of the administration on topics from Flint to hate crimes to police oversight, and nobody has bothered to reply, also your budget is terrible, so you haven't begun to earn a photo-op with us.

    They've spun Trump's "what do you have to lose?" from the campaign into "The CBC, and the millions of people we represent, have a lot to lose under your Administration."
    posted by zachlipton at 12:32 PM on June 21 [64 favorites]


    CNN: Progressives already thought Democrats were aimless. The special election wipeout might prove their point

    Good old CNN. Abandon all nuance and context to maintain that horse race!

    I wouldn't mind all the brainless fucking "neutrality" so much if it was actually reasonably sensible and maybe even half baked in fact.
    posted by Talez at 12:34 PM on June 21 [14 favorites]


    I really hope this thing with Felix Sater has legs. Trump is so fucking dirty.
    posted by Burhanistan at 12:41 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


    I really hope this thing with Felix Sater has legs. Trump is so fucking dirty.

    Warning: Link has autoplay video of Trump speaking. A few seconds in he pronounces "Little Havana" in a way that made me almost break my mouse button hitting the "close tab" button so hard. *shudder*
    posted by Roommate at 12:52 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    Can you blame Trump? It's like we expect him to actually respond to a black caucus when he comes into contact with one. Outrageous.
    posted by RolandOfEld at 12:55 PM on June 21


    I really hope this thing with Felix Sater has legs. Trump is so fucking dirty.

    If Mueller's going after Sater, and by extension, Bayrock, things are going to become even more interesting and more convoluted.

    Of all the players in the Trump/Russia scandal, Felix Sater, Trump’s business partner in the Trump Soho hotel and with the incredibly dubious Bayrock Group, may not have been in the headlines as much as Manafort or Flynn, but he's easily one of the shadiest. He's a mob hustler, FBI fink, and twice-convicted felon, with ties to international crime and the CIA. He's also a pivotal figure in Team Trump's dubious back-channel peace plan for Ukraine and Russia.

    Incidentally, Mueller's pick of Adam Weismann for his investigative murderers' row only gets better - it turns out that in the late 90s, when Weismann was a prosecutor with the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, he was on the team that prosecuted mob investment scammers ... including Felix Sater.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 12:59 PM on June 21 [33 favorites]


    Ugh, this weird narrative of "Democrats are in such shambles that they can't even win elections in traditionally very Republican districts!"
    posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:01 PM on June 21 [67 favorites]


    Felix Sater [is] a mob hustler, FBI fink, and twice-convicted felon, with ties to international crime and the CIA.

    If he has two convictions, I'd presume he would be highly motivated to make a deal that might avoid a third.
    posted by Gelatin at 1:03 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    First, Democrats must tie Republican incumbents explicitly (both Republicans in the Tuesday races were replacing incumbents) to Trump and to votes on health care and other unpopular measures.

    So, if the AHCA does pass? I'd like to see a TV ad that's all the Dems in both houses in a big group, just saying "Hi America, just letting you know, we didn't want this for you. We repeat: the upcoming healthcare shitstorm is brought to you, unquestionably and exclusively, by the Republicans in Congress and President Trump. And oh yeah, there's an election coming up in 2018..."
    posted by Rykey at 1:03 PM on June 21 [14 favorites]


    The Onion: Robed Mark Warner Infiltrates Secret Torchlit AHCA Ceremony Deep In Woods Behind Capitol. "Staring in horror at the profane legislative ritual taking place around him, a robed Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) reportedly infiltrated congressional Republicans’ secret, torchlit American Health Care Act ceremony deep in the woods behind the U.S. Capitol late Tuesday night. 'I heard this eerie chanting as I left my office, and when I followed the sound I saw a line of GOP senators in long, flowing vestments being led into the forest by Mitch McConnell,' said Warner, explaining that he quickly donned an extra robe he found behind a tree and then quietly fell in formation at the rear of the column of conservative lawmakers in hopes of catching a glimpse of their mysterious health policy deliberations..."
    posted by jocelmeow at 1:05 PM on June 21 [31 favorites]


    the only reason that media narrative matters is that the orange man is hooked up to it — we have government by media feedback loop.

    god I wish our universe weren't so cronenberged up.

    but yeah probably the only thing to be done with CNN, Fox et al is to make sure that everyone you knows knows not to pay attention to them. turn 'em off when you see 'em on at the gym or in waiting rooms. there's no potential for good there.
    posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:05 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Former Mafia-linked figure describes association with Trump
    Trump has repeatedly said he barely remembers Sater. In sworn testimony in 2013, Trump said he wouldn’t recognize Sater if they were sitting in the same room. In an interview last year with the Associated Press, he said, “Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it.”

    Sater, in previously unreported sworn testimony reviewed by The Washington Post, described a closer relationship.

    Sater said he popped into Trump’s office frequently over a six-year period to talk business. He recalled flying to Colorado with Trump and said that Trump once asked him to escort his children Donald Jr. and Ivanka around Moscow.
    posted by kirkaracha at 1:08 PM on June 21 [16 favorites]


    I'd like to see a TV ad that's all the Dems in both houses in a big group, just saying "Hi America, just letting you know, we didn't want this for you. We repeat: the upcoming healthcare shitstorm is brought to you, unquestionably and exclusively, by the Republicans in Congress and President Trump. And oh yeah, there's an election coming up in 2018..."

    I'd like to see a series of ads, not unlike the "Harry and Louise" ads that helped torpedo Clinton's health reform initiative. Each one could focus on a different way the Republican plan is terrible. (And golly, wouldn't it be great if someone could hire the original two actors, who would now be around retirement age?)

    I'd also like to see Democrats start to hammer a too-often-overlooked point in Bill Kristol's infamous memo outlining Republican lockstep opposition to Clinton's health reform initiative: The Republican disaster is proof that yes, government can and does do positive things for the American people, and claims otherwise, including and especially Reagan's, are a pernicious lie.

    An unregulated health insurance market didn't protect pre-existing conditions or essential services; the government did. In fact, Democrats did. You're welcome, America.
    posted by Gelatin at 1:08 PM on June 21 [48 favorites]


    Per the AP, Trump just announced his reëlection campaign's first major donor fundraising...for the 2020 election. On June 28th, 2017, years in advance of that election campaign. At a time when there are most certainly more pressing matters to attend, and he can't seem to find the time to hold a press conference (Trump's last was in February), he's doing...fundraising.

    And of course: it's going to be at one of Trump's properties, his DC hotel, so he can make money personally off fundraising for his campaign (which certainly is definitely being run 100% without fraud or graft, I'm sure), that he still has yet to divest himself of, and from which a number of conflict of interests arise -- conflicts that are only exacerbated by Trump choosing to host events there, and using the allure of the Presidency to funnel funds into his own pockets.

    He did this all through the campaign, but it's that much worse that he's choosing to continue to do this during his time in office -- and that's leaving aside the fact that he's even doing fundraising this early, and hosting campaign rallies instead of governing.
    posted by cjelli at 1:14 PM on June 21 [13 favorites]


    Sen. Sanders interviewed Sen. Warren for his podcast (audio 34min, from a couple days ago). They talked mainly about the secret healthcare bill and fighting it. They stressed the importance of public engagement (phoning and writing and speaking up). And Warren especially wants people to share their healthcare stories ... I thought it was a good suggestion and an actual story writing campaign could be a good strategy because if just one gets through ... stories can often have oversized impact. Another suggestion for fighting back, especially from blue states where people already have representatives that are onside with them, is to reach out to people you know in red states and give them moral encouragement. Just sharing news of what is happening and sort of letting them know they aren't alone in concern or fighting back and demanding something better. Not sure how it would work exactly but I've heard Bernie suggest it a few times.

    Adjacent thought;
    When Sec. Chao testified recently about the Transportation Department budget she stood firmly behind the administration policy that states that; requests from minority members were to be ignored.

    In all the other budget hearings the administration officials have mostly taken the tact of saying that the directive (while clearly written down) isn't in play and that they intend to work with both parties (even after many departments have shown unresponsiveness to minority inquiries (ie; Sen. Murrary who sent 7 letters to Sec. DeVos and got no response)). But Chao really took it a step further and said this has always been the policy and the minority basically can get bent. She wasn't the least bit conciliatory and seemed actively hostile toward all Democrats no matter how mundane the questions.

    So, that hearing, combined with McConnell, who has realized there are no strict rules any more, and the secret play for healthcare (which is mindbogglingly money measuring rather than people protecting) ... maybe it is all just about the tax breaks, but the stridency for secrecy from the DOT leads me to wonder what else might be cooking. (At least between McConnell and Chao). Sort of, if we are going to take a hatchet to medicare/aid why just cut taxes when we can also make some space for the promised infrastructure project. Anyway just a side observation.*

    *My observations can be wildly and stunningly wrong.
    posted by phoque at 1:24 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


    the only reason that media narrative matters is that the orange man is hooked up to it — we have government by media feedback loop.

    It's bizarre how painfully clear it's been made over the past few years that so much of the conventional wisdom around politics is bullshit; that voters as a group and most of the politicians they elect don't actually care about norms, hearing both sides, or history; and that the majority of political talking heads are idiots who've been repeatedly and provably wrong on a whole host of issues, and yet cable news's obsession with all of this stuff is arguably more important than ever just because our government is lead by someone who would at any moment rather be watching fucking Fox & Friends.
    posted by Copronymus at 1:27 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    But as best I could tell from far away, GA-06, in the race that played out on people's TV screens and mailboxes, came down to a ton of attacks and very little actual policy.

    What I saw was a mix, Ossoff ads about policy and Handel. All the Handel ads I saw were generic. She talked about how much she loved Georgia. She didn't even mention being a Republican or Conservative in several ads. The third party ads were crazy. The Ossoff ads were the only ones that talked about policy.

    Ugh, this weird narrative of "Democrats are in such shambles that they can't even win elections in traditionally very Republican districts!"


    This went from "people hate Trump so much a Dem could win GA-6, wouldn't that be completely crazy?!" to "The Dems fucked up, they should have had it" even though it was very close. That's the media for you. But it's also "friends" of the Left.
    posted by bongo_x at 1:28 PM on June 21 [19 favorites]


    [Maybe let's leave it at that, on the specific question of whether "progrom" is the proper term for organized racist attacks in the US; we can object to the attacks whatever term gets used so the core point doesn't really depend on the term.]

    The proper use of the word matters. Here's why: A pogrom is not a proper catch-all term for organized racist attacks in the United States. It is also not the proper term for racist attacks sanctioned by the U.S. government. It is not a word that means race riots. It is a loan word from Yiddish, a Jewish language, which refers to historical events in which governments sanctioned the attempted ethnic cleansing and murder of Jews and were specifically motivated by antisemitism.

    Even on the rare occasions when scholars have used the term to refer to attacks on non-Jews, they tend to restrict themselves to describing attacks against a minority religious group. Not a racial one. Even if we were to argue that the term has been somehow deprecated in modern times, it still has a very specific history that shouldn’t simply be dismissed or ignored.

    The word is similar in a way to lynchings, which has become synonymous with acts of racial terrorism against African Americans to preserve white supremacy. Neither are catch-all words. They should not be used casually.

    Diminishing what was done to an entire group of people because of their heritage and religious beliefs, in order to make a "core point" is not an objection. It is erasure.
    posted by zarq at 1:40 PM on June 21 [28 favorites]


    Right, and look how well their administrations turned out. They won elections, but they couldn't actually accomplish anything approaching a productive agenda

    Uh... let's not retcon history. Both Clinton and Obama's presidencies were extremely productive. They may or may not have been productive along the specific agenda lines you prefer but that's a different matter.
    posted by Justinian at 1:45 PM on June 21 [32 favorites]


    Penetrated: Today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections
    If you didn’t catch the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian influence on 2016 U.S. election on live stream, you should try to catch a replay online. I missed the first panel but caught the second when University of Michigan Prof. J. Alex Halderman began his testimony with his opening statement. [...]

    When asked if it was possible Russia could change votes, Halderman told the SIC that he and a team of students demonstrated they were able to hack DC’s voting system, change votes, and do so undetected in under 48 hours. Conveniently, Fox News interviewed Halderman last September; Halderman explained the DC hack demonstration at that time (see embedded video); the interview fit well with Trump’s months-long narrative that the election was ‘rigged’.

    If you aren’t at least mildly panicked after watching the second panel’s testimony and reading Halderman’s statement, you’re asleep or dead, or you just plain don’t care about the U.S.’ democratic system.

    Contrast and compare this Senate hearing to the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing with former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson as a witness. [...] Early in the hearing, Johnson as well as DHS witnesses Jeanette Manfra and Samuel Liles said there was no evidence votes were changed. It’s important to note, though, that Johnson later clarifies in a round about way there was no way to be certain of hacking at that time (about 1:36:00-1:41:00 in hearing). I find it incredibly annoying Johnson didn’t simply defer to information security experts about the possibility there may never be evidence even if there were hacks; it’s simply not within in his skill set or experience then or now to say with absolute certainty based on forensic audit there was no evidence of votes changed. Gathering that evidence never happened because federal and state laws do not provide adequately for standardized full forensic audits before, during, or after an election.
    posted by tonycpsu at 1:46 PM on June 21 [34 favorites]


    Rory Carroll, Guardian: 'I think leftism is a disorder': is this artist the rightwing Banksy?
    The guerrilla art movement is usually associated with leftwing politics. Banksy targets capitalism, consumerism and inequality. Blek le Rat, the father of stencil graffiti, depicts oppression and resistance.

    Shepard Fairey gilded Barack Obama’s rise with the iconic “Hope” poster and now highlights the scapegoating of Muslims and the corporatisation of US politics.

    In the Trump era, the right, however, has its own guerrilla artist: Sabo, a former US marine who works from an apartment-cum-studio in Los Angeles beneath a sign that says “Fuck Tibet”. Another says “Fuck peace”.

    Under cover of darkness, he peppers public spaces in LA with images and slogans targeting liberals, whom he associates with “pot-smoking lazy bums” hostile to western values. He puts the same images and slogans on posters, T-shirts and pins which he sells from his website and at Republican party gatherings across the US.

    “I think leftism is a mental disorder,” Sabo, 49, said in an interview at his home. “I truly believe I’m fighting the good fight.”
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:46 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    > Trump just announced his reëlection campaign's first major donor fundraising...for the 2020 election. On June 28th, 2017. [...] And of course: it's going to be at one of Trump's properties, his DC hotel, so he can make money personally off fundraising for his campaign

    I didn't know I still had untapped reserves of disgust and revulsion. This petty man is treating the office of the Presidency as the cheapest of cheap grifts - another few dollars to add to his fortune. The only thing I can think of is that he's up to his eyeballs in debt to the Russian mafia and he thinks he's just been handed a golden payday before the markers get called.
    posted by RedOrGreen at 1:47 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


    point taken -- retracted.

    is there an accepted general term for genocidal attacks like the ones under discussion here? I can't even think of a good category name whatsoever for semi-spontaneously generated state-sanctioned (or state-willfully-overlooked) murderous mass outbursts of genocidal murder. it's the ugliest thing we do as people. how do I not know a word for it?
    posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:48 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    >“Fuck Tibet”

    But - why? I understand that this person doesn't care about Tibet. Sure, why should he?No skin off his nose. But from there to actively "Fuck Tibet"? Is that just something that might wring out a few more liberal tears?

    > “Fuck peace”

    Okay, sure. Be careful what you wish for, is all.
    posted by RedOrGreen at 1:50 PM on June 21 [8 favorites]


    The Johnson quotes on AHCA are promising. Lets hope they are not simply McCainesque nothings. Does he have a history of making noises like this and then gladly marching over the cliff like a lemming?
    posted by Justinian at 1:50 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    is there an accepted general term for genocidal attacks like the ones under discussion here? I can't even think of a good category name whatsoever for semi-spontaneously generated state-sanctioned (or state-willfully-overlooked) murderous mass outbursts of genocidal murder. it's the ugliest thing we do as people. how do I not know a word for it?

    I think in the American context Lynching is pretty accurate
    posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:50 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    Soooo there's some comment deletions going on, and for good reason.

    but I just wanted to say that zarq said a thing that made me regret the thing that I said and I retracted it. there needs to be a good general word for the types of awful acts we were discussing, and it's not right to just take one of the specific words and treat it as general.
    posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:51 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    [Ok, updated note, I've deleted a couple comments and reinstated one and maybe we've reached a resolution on this. But the point is if folks want to have a longer dedicated meta conversation about the use of the term 'pogrom' beyond the objection already stated in the thread above, MetaTalk is the place for that.]
    posted by LobsterMitten at 1:51 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    I said here a long time back I didn't see how the abortion restrictions in the AHCA works with the Byrd rule. Since no-one ever seemed to bring this up on the teevee I guess I sorta assumed I didn't understand the process well enough. But it sounds like, no, it doesn't pass muster. That's good news. Well, not exactly good news... more like one less bit of terrible news among all the other terrible news?
    posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    The Byrd rule will be drowned in its own Byrd bath the first time it gets in the way. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. It'll be the best. Believe me.
    posted by RedOrGreen at 1:56 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Video: Trevor [Noah] talks to the audience about being stopped by police as a black man: "I feel the problem is, oftentimes in America, I feel the conversation gets caught up in racism as it pertains to black and white, but I don't believe that that is the conversation. I honestly don't believe that that is the conversation. I believe that the police force as a whole is trained in such a way that it creates a state racism that is different."

    As Trump is on his way to Cedar Rapids for yet another rally right now, the Cedar Rapids Gazette has a page 1 editorial today: "The campaign is over. You won. Now is not the time to rally."

    Since no-one ever seemed to bring this up on the teevee I guess I sorta assumed I didn't understand the process well enough.

    They don't allow the kinds of people who know what the Byrd Rule is to go on TV. It's bad for ratings.
    posted by zachlipton at 2:00 PM on June 21 [18 favorites]


    Ben Tarnoff, Guardian: How privatization could spell the end of democracy
    But where will the money come from? This is the perennial question, posed whenever someone suggests raising the welfare state above a whisper. Fortunately, it has a simple answer. The United States is the richest country in the history of the world. It is so rich, in fact, that its richest people can afford to pour billions of dollars into a company such as Uber, which loses billions of dollars each year, in the hopes of getting just a little bit richer. In the face of such extravagance, diverting a modest portion of the prosperity we produce in common toward services that benefit everyone shouldn’t be controversial. It’s a small price to pay for making democracy mean more than a hollow slogan, or a sick joke.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:01 PM on June 21 [33 favorites]


    I took a couple of minutes to ResistBot to my senior senator, Ron Johnson. Using the same techniques as I used with my toddlers to encourage good behavior, I'm hoping to flatter him into a firm "no" vote. Too bad I can't use Cheerios with him too.
    posted by altopower at 2:02 PM on June 21 [14 favorites]


    2018 is the big prize. It sucks losing in GA-6 and everywhere else in these special elections, but these are big time red districts. I also keep in mind that in places like NC, the map has been ordered re-drawn by the courts, likely resulting in seat pickups here and there, reducing the amount of seats needed to flip the house.

    It's just the "waiting" part that sucks.
    posted by azpenguin at 2:04 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    Felix Sater's whole tangled web of connections reminds me of something I said some time ago: it seems not entirely outside the realm of possibility that at some point Donald Trump was an FBI informant as part of an investigation into mob money, and that a nonzero number of his mobbed-up deals were made at their behest.

    Presumably getting him in trouble for these particular deals would be hard, and surely Mueller, by way of Comey, would know about any deals which are hiding this sort of unpleasant revelation, so since he's still looking there must be real dirt that isn't tied to the FBI. But still, it seemed like a possibility, and frankly Sater seemed like he'd be mixed up in exactly that sort of thing.
    posted by jackbishop at 2:09 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    It's just the "waiting" part that sucks.

    Tom Petty's first draft.
    posted by Faint of Butt at 2:16 PM on June 21 [24 favorites]


    It's just the "waiting" part that sucks.

    Tom Petty's first draft.


    Don't be absurd. Everyone knows that Tom waits for no man.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 2:25 PM on June 21 [14 favorites]


    Felix Sater's whole tangled web of connections reminds me of something I said some time ago: it seems not entirely outside the realm of possibility that at some point Donald Trump was an FBI informant as part of an investigation into mob money, and that a nonzero number of his mobbed-up deals were made at their behest.

    I wondered about this possibility too, but I'm convinced he'd have been shouting this all over Twitter if it were the case. Hell, I wouldn't put it past him to blow an ongoing investigation on Twitter if he were involved.
    posted by jason_steakums at 2:27 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    Through the Cold War there was even a specially trained team of park rangers in Philadelphia whose job it was to evacuate the Liberty Bell in the event of a Soviet threat.
    - NPR: In The Event Of Attack, Here's How The Government Plans 'To Save Itself'

    It turns out Park Rangers have been at this for a long time!
    posted by srboisvert at 2:28 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    ♫ Last dance with A-C-A
    One more vote to loose the reins
    I feel AHCA creepin' in and I'm
    tired of these coverage gains
    posted by 0xFCAF at 2:31 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


    Onion: Panicking Mitch McConnell Shoves Entire Senate Healthcare Bill Into Mouth As Democrat Walks Past

    In its entirety:
    WASHINGTON—Quickly crumpling up all 500 pages of the legislation upon hearing footsteps in the hallway, sources reported Tuesday that a panicked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shoved the entire Senate healthcare bill in his mouth as a Democratic senator walked past. According to witnesses, McConnell became visibly flustered upon realizing there was no place to hide from the Democratic colleague approaching his doorway and began ripping wads of documents from a binder and cramming them through his open jaws as rapidly as possible. Asked about the location of an upcoming meeting, McConnell, cheeks distended to many times their original size, reportedly grunted several times and gestured toward a nearby conference room. At press time, McConnell had spit out the massive clump of saliva-coated, half-chewed papers, which, while largely illegible, would reportedly insure 10 million more people than the original.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:34 PM on June 21 [28 favorites]


    A draft leaked to the Washington Post, though a lot still seems up in the air: Senate health-care draft repeals Obamacare taxes, provides bigger subsidies for low-income Americans than House bill. Don't let that headline fool you though, it's misleading as hell since the Senate bill would cut Medicaid even more harshly than the House bill, not to mention the stupidity of comparing to the House bill instead of existing law.

    Reports I've seen say that they're changing the premium credits to cut off people making 350-400% of the poverty line and that the "benchmark plan" that determines how much of a credit you get will be set to just 58% of the actuarial value of the plans. The result of all of this is that Medicaid is left to die over time, premiums will rise for everyone receiving subsidies, but the rich get a bunch of tax cuts.
    posted by zachlipton at 2:35 PM on June 21 [17 favorites]




    CNN: Progressives already thought Democrats were aimless. The special election wipeout might prove their point

    Hmm, four close races much tighter than expected are a wipeout... Funny how Republicans and pundits never mention the special election in CA-34 where Dems won and the R candidate got 3.8% of the vote. 6 Ds and a Green beat him. Now that seems like a wipeout.

    Seems completely fucking fair that MT, KS, SC and GA count as big wins for Rs, but CA gets ignored for us. 1-4, not 0-4. And again, Rs lost all 7 special elections in 2009/10, including a seat they had previously easily held, and then picked up 63 seats in the 2010 midterms.
    posted by chris24 at 2:44 PM on June 21 [27 favorites]


    > If every candidate were exactly like I wanted them to be and did exactly what I wanted we would win every race because I know everything

    Matt Yglesias: The Pundit’s Fallacy
    So here it goes: The pundit’s fallacy is that belief that what a politician needs to do to improve his or her political standing is do what the pundit wants substantively. So progressive populists think that Barack Obama would have higher approval ratings if he acted more like Ed Schultz while establishmentarian centrists think his ratings would go up if he acted more like David Broder.
    posted by tonycpsu at 2:45 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


    So progressive populists think that Barack Obama would have higher approval ratings if he acted more like Ed Schultz

    Obama should work for Russia Today? Oh Ed...
    posted by bongo_x at 3:00 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Genuine question: is it within scope in these election threads to bring up how the disruption that is the Trump administration is allowing state legislatures to push unbelievably disgusting bills such as SB 5 in Missouri? I mean, it seems on topic for discussions of elected officials and the impact of the Trump regime on the country, but OTOH it's not about elections specifically, so I don't know anymore.

    It's depressing to see what conservatives are doing, it's hard to know how to help, and I don't trust my judgement anymore.
    posted by StrawberryPie at 3:07 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


    > But - why? I understand that this person doesn't care about Tibet. Sure, why should he?No skin off his nose. But from there to actively "Fuck Tibet"? Is that just something that might wring out a few more liberal tears?

    "Gotta nuke somethin'!"
    posted by The Card Cheat at 3:17 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    BuzzFeed: At Justice Department Pride Event, LGBT Employees Plan To Honor Transgender Student: "DOJ Pride — the Justice Department's group for LGBT employees and allies — plans to give its community service award to Gavin Grimm, the transgender student challenging his high school's bathroom policy. Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the pro-transgender guidance that had helped Grimm's case."

    Seung Min Kim‏ (Politico) observes that it's been two weeks and Trump still hasn't actually submitted the nomination for Chris Wray to the Senate.
    posted by zachlipton at 3:22 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


    Felix Sater's whole tangled web of connections reminds me of something I said some time ago: it seems not entirely outside the realm of possibility that at some point Donald Trump was an FBI informant as part of an investigation into mob money, and that a nonzero number of his mobbed-up deals were made at their behest.

    Mueller would know about Felix Sater because Mueller was the head of the FBI when Sater was an informant. Sater was sentenced in 2009 for the 1998 stock fraud conviction that led him to become an FBI informant, Mueller was director from 2001 to 2013. His cooperation wasn't penny ante stuff, Mueller may well have been briefed on it. Sater's criminal records were sealed for 10 years by Loretta Lynch who was then the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, she was asked about this in her AG confirmation hearing.

    The worst case scenario is a White Bulger situation where the FBI turned a blind eye to Sater and Trump's misdeeds in order to secure other prosecutions and now Mueller is forced to steer far clear of known corruption to protect the reputation of the FBI.
    posted by peeedro at 3:34 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Montana Dems Get Gianforte New Suit for First Day in Congress
    Everyone knows you need plenty of suits to work on Capitol Hill. While millionaire Gianforte can certainly afford his own, we know he has a lot of legal fees to pay. So, we thought we’d help him out and get him started by mailing a new suit to his office in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington. An orange jumpsuit, that is.
    posted by kirkaracha at 3:59 PM on June 21 [25 favorites]


    Hmm, four close races much tighter than expected are a wipeout... Funny how Republicans and pundits never mention the special election in CA-34 where Dems won and the R candidate got 3.8% of the vote. 6 Ds and a Green beat him. Now that seems like a wipeout.

    The better indication of whether there's a real groundswell of Democratic support might be here in Virginia, in the governor's race, but even more in the House of Delegates this year. Republicans currently hold a 66/100 seat majority, but there's been a surge of Indivisible-backed, in many cases women candidates challenging in nearly every district. If Democrats can win a large influx of new seats in a gerrymandered Southern state, now we're talking about something real. And trust me there's a lot of work going into these races from NoVa organizers, but it's not just Obama administration transplants, there's support across the state from longtime resident activists and newly activated people alike. And most of these delegate races will be local, yes with national overtones, but not national spectacles like GA6. The trend in these specials has been okay-to-good, but look to Virginia if we're going to take the next step.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 4:10 PM on June 21 [15 favorites]


    Chuck Todd was talking like this was THE END OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. He brought on the Cook Report guy to point out how all these special elections were big swings towards the Democrats and that's what matters for the midterms etc and Todd characterized it as possibly the smallest of silver linings in the giant dark cloud.

    The takeaway? Fuck chuck todd.
    posted by Justinian at 4:13 PM on June 21 [22 favorites]


    There are Democratic constituencies throughout the country who agree with Republicans on certain issues.

    Well, that assumes good faith on the part of the GOP. I would say that there are Democratic constituencies that agree with GOP professed ideals, but those ideals are a smokescreen for policies that the Democratic constituencies would not endorse. For example, whenever the GOP talks of fiscal responsibility and cost-cutting, it's just code for screwing the poor and laying off government workers. Or preserving marriage and defending religion is a cover for discriminating against gays.

    The worst case scenario is a White Bulger situation where the FBI turned a blind eye to Sater and Trump's misdeeds in order to secure other prosecutions and now Mueller is forced to steer far clear of known corruption to protect the reputation of the FBI.

    That hadn't occurred to me. In fact, bringing in Mueller may have been done with the intent of derailing that part of the investigation.
    posted by Mental Wimp at 4:16 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    Chuck Todd and Matt Lauer both occupy the same space in my garbage fire. Plus, Todd is a terrible interviewer and can't anchor a newscast very well either. Such a clod.
    posted by Burhanistan at 4:31 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    chuck todd is a comcast exec's version of what a smart person sounds like. but i mostly just wanted to pipe in to mention how much i hate his goatee thing. and goatees are fine, just chuck todd's goatee is laughable.
    posted by localhuman at 4:37 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


    i'm watching cnn right now. they're waiting for trump to have one of his campaign style rallies. i say let 'em have it. they're gloating. let them soak in it...

    ...while the resistance keeps working. we got so close in a super-red district. let them think they won.
    posted by waitangi at 4:41 PM on June 21 [8 favorites]


    Chuck Todd was talking like this was THE END OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

    Yeah, because sensationalizing/dramatizing the shit out of everything is what sells their copy. The MSM is really a huge problem in this whole equation, because their interests do not even remotely align with the common good.
    posted by Brak at 4:45 PM on June 21 [13 favorites]


    And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.

    you'd have to be an actual factual dumbshit to think this, so yeah, David Brooks
    posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:45 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


    I want to thank all the MeFites who have been the calm voice of reason. The narrow losses in SC and GA were victories, and we need to take heart from them and keep fighting.

    Special thanks to whoever it was that said "I'll stop fighting when I'm dead." Amen!
    posted by phliar at 4:49 PM on June 21 [20 favorites]


    So apparently the chair of the Iowa GOP is going on a total red-faced, screaming tirade at the Trump rally. He's going off on the usual suspects: the Democrats and the press. (The Cedar Rapids Gazette published a front page editorial today telling Trump to stop campaigning and instead concentrate on doing his job. Republicans aren't happy.) But he's also going off, for some reason, against Ben Sasse, whom he is calling sanctimonious and anti-Trump and whom he said should stay on his side of the river that divides Nebraska and Iowa.

    Guess who is headlining the Central Iowa GOP fundraising dinner next month? That would be Ben Sasse. That's going to be interesting.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:52 PM on June 21 [29 favorites]


    That "FUCK TIBET" reminds me of this segment on the Ricky Gervais podcast wherein he and Stephen Merchant mocked a lad Gervais had seen wearing a t-shirt, in response to the 'Mind the Gap' announcements on the tube, reading FUCK THE GAP

    Merchant and Gervais were riffing on this concept of getting angry at helpful hints like, yeah, fuck looking both ways, that's part of the system man, etc.
    posted by angrycat at 4:53 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    Seung Min Kim‏ (Politico) observes that it's been two weeks and Trump still hasn't actually submitted the nomination for Chris Wray to the Senate.

    ...wait what? I really don't know what to make of their incompetence in nominations, it's generally a good thing that there's less Trump appointees...but it's pretty fuckin bad that large swaths of the government are right now essentially nonfunctional for going on 6 months. And I don't know if it's intentional because they're trying to run everything through Bannon, Miller and Kushner as part of some alt-right shadow-nazi unconfirmed government, which is obviously impossible, or because Trump is that lazy, and everyone around him is that incompetent/also lazy.

    The only area they're keeping pace is with the judiciary, but that's all outsourced to the Federalist Society, who have had running lists prepared for decades ready for any Republican administration. Unfortunately that's also where they can do the most damage for the longest term.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 4:57 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    Special thanks to whoever it was that said "I'll stop fighting when I'm dead." Amen!

    That was Secret Life of Gravy. I have it bookmarked for whenever I need a pep talk.

    Honestly, I can't even imagine what this would be like without MeFi in my corner. You all bring me comfort every day.
    posted by Brak at 5:09 PM on June 21 [31 favorites]


    it seems not entirely outside the realm of possibility that at some point Donald Trump was an FBI informant as part of an investigation into mob money, and that a nonzero number of his mobbed-up deals were made at their behest.

    The FBI employing Trump in a sensitive investigation like that is highly unlikely, not least because Trump has always been utterly self-serving and indiscreet. It appears from an FOIA request, however, that back in 1981 Trump tried to set up a cooperative relationship with the Bureau when he was first exploring building his own casino in Atlantic City. He proposed providing full disclosure during construction and placing undercover agents at his casino, but it seems he blew this deal by bragging to other parties about his connections to the Bureau before it was finalized. My guess is that the FBI might have accepted tips from Trump but would have been reluctant to involve him in their investigations, much less their undercover operations.

    The equation changes, however, when Felix Sater comes into the picture in late 1998 with his securities fraud arrest and then enters Trump's orbit in 2003. His work as an informant/intelligence source for the FBI/CIA overlaps with his partnership with Trump through the Bayrock Group - he wasn't formally sentenced in his plea deal until 2009, the year before he left Bayrock and went to work for the Trump Organization full time. That's several years of Sater simultaneously grassing on La Cosa Nostra to the Feds while potentially linking up Trump with mafiya money-laundering for their shady real estate projects. If the FBI turned a blind eye to the latter in order to secure the former, Sater and Trump could put them in an embarrassing position.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 5:09 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    Montana Dems Get Gianforte New Suit for First Day in Congress
    Everyone knows you need plenty of suits to work on Capitol Hill. While millionaire Gianforte can certainly afford his own, we know he has a lot of legal fees to pay. So, we thought we’d help him out and get him started by mailing a new suit to his office in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington. An orange jumpsuit, that is.


    I kinda see this as some of what people are saying Dems should/should not take out of the Repub playbook. It instantly turn me off, and I am very blue. If it's just a silly thing that is on a website, I am slightly more okay with it. If it's something that actually happened... either way, it's fuel for the fire of "liberal animosity" or whatever the term being thrown around is.

    This is much more damning, and I believe the Montana Dems lose the message when they throw that other thing up.

    Semi-related: Count me on the side that say we did a damn fine job yesterday. Almost winning in districts that were predictably red for decades and won by 10-20+ within the last 6 years is tremendous. 2016 got me to donate for the first time ever and I have also now donated to Ossoff and others because government needs to remember they serve us, amongst other reasons.

    Just had a talk with my wife who admitted she is a "lazy" voter ("I used to only vote when I thought it would matter"), but she has also become engaged in politics again, as she (and I and a lot of us, really) are realizing voting in everything matters.

    I'm not saying either of us is running for dog-catcher yet. But, we will be voting for dog-catcher.

    (I will run for p-snatcher-catcher if p-snatcher is re-elected and if that becomes an office.)
    posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:10 PM on June 21 [8 favorites]


    but he should be wearing an orange jumpsuit? because if he weren't an entitled white person, he would be?

    why should we not say this fundamental truth? I mean, it's not like that they filled the suit with bedbugs, I assume. Or bees.
    posted by angrycat at 5:20 PM on June 21 [20 favorites]


    I checked out the live stream of the Trump rally, and they're playing "Keep on Rocking in the Free World" over the PA. These people are literally so stupid that I don't understand how they breathe.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:20 PM on June 21 [18 favorites]


    2016 DNC speaker Michael Bloomberg says America should 'get behind' Trump because 'the public has spoken'
    Also a businessman and philanthropist, Bloomberg said Americans should direct their energy toward changing the outcome of the next election rather than fighting the current administration.
    posted by indubitable at 5:21 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    Daily Beast: FBI Fired Sebastian Gorka for Anti-Muslim Diatribes
    The inflammatory pundit Sebastian Gorka worked for the FBI while he was a paid consultant to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, lecturing bureau employees on counterterrorism issues.

    Until the FBI terminated Gorka for his over-the-top Islamophobic rhetoric.
    ...
    Gorka told attendees at the Joint Terrorism Operations Course, an introductory-level class for participants in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, that all Muslims adhere to sharia law, which he said is in conflict with the U.S. constitution and American democratic values. Officials familiar with his lecture said Gorka taught law-enforcement officials there is no such thing as mainstream Muslims—only those radicalized and those soon to be radicalized.
    The following month, a senior FBI official assured outraged and embarrassed colleagues that the bureau would no longer use Gorka for any subsequent lectures or instructions, according to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast.
    The Root/Jason Johnson: ‘That White Boy ’Bout to Lose’: The Inescapable Racial Politics of the Ga. 6th Special Election. There's a lot of good stuff in here, and it's worth reading in its entirety, especially for the aside about SC-05, where Johnson says the Democratic Party was "some experimental get-out-the-vote strategies for getting out the African-American vote" that seems to have been super-effective. Would love to know more about these efforts if anybody knows about them.

    NYT/Upshot—Margot Sanger-Katz: G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid
    The bill, of course, would modify changes to the health system brought by the Affordable Care Act. But it would also permanently restructure Medicaid, which covers tens of millions of poor or disabled Americans, including millions who are living in nursing homes with conditions like Alzheimer’s or the aftereffects of a stroke.

    “This is the most consequential change in 50 years for low-income people’s health care,” said Joan Alker, the executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. “This is a massive change that has hardly been discussed.”
    And Brian Beutler nails it on why health care hasn't gotten the kind of coverage it deserves, despite the many talented reporters chasing the story: The Media Bias Toward “New” News Helped the GOP Hide Its Secret Health Care Plan
    HuffPost reporter Jeff Young wrote last week that “as important as the legislation’s details will turn out out to be, there’s a simple, fundamental, incontrovertible fact about whatever the Senate health care reform bill winds up looking like: The purpose of this bill is to dramatically scale back the safety net so wealthy people and health care companies can get a massive tax cut.”

    This is the throughline of the entire, horrifying Obamacare repeal story, and almost without exception, it was omitted from all the places most Americans get their news—television, print, and online front pages—until past few days.
    ...
    I think this misdiagnoses the source of the challenge and the solution to it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t lock down the bill-writing process in order to block liberals from going over the bill with a fine-tooth comb. His chief insight was in recognizing a bias—not among liberals, but within the news industry—toward what you might call “new news.” Things we didn’t know before, but do know now. It is that bias, more than anything else, that has brought us to the brink of living under a law that nobody on the planet has seen but that will uninsure millions to pay for millionaire tax cuts.
    ...
    But it would be better in the long run for the news industry to migrate toward a more nuanced standard of newsworthiness that doesn’t cede all agenda-setting power to people who can commandeer front pages with misleading information just because it’s new, or escape scrutiny for moral crimes whenever they want to, simply by going dark.
    Trump is now on stage promising "a plan with heart." I guess he hasn't read the bill either.
    posted by zachlipton at 5:21 PM on June 21 [34 favorites]


    Nate Cohn looked at the numbers for GA-06. Turnout was stronger in Republican leaning areas than in Democratic leaning areas. That is the problem in a nutshell; there is an almost linear relationship between high rates of turnout and likelihood to vote R, and low rates of turnout and likelihood to vote D.

    (this doesn't hold for one group; black woman, who VOTE like nobody's business. It's awesome.)
    posted by Justinian at 5:29 PM on June 21 [32 favorites]


    Bloomberg said that opposing a president just because of one's alignment with another party is the wrong approach.

    Thanks for clarifying, Mike. Because I have approximately 962,637 reasons other than party affiliation to oppose the president. I'll just carry on then, thanks.
    posted by Brak at 5:31 PM on June 21 [21 favorites]


    His chief insight was in recognizing a bias—not among liberals, but within the news industry—toward what you might call “new news.” Things we didn’t know before, but do know now. It is that bias, more than anything else, that has brought us to the brink...

    When I first watched the movie, Broadcast News, I didn't really appreciate it's message. But to be useful to our democracy the news should cover what's important. However, it tends instead to cover what is "novel".
    posted by puddledork at 5:38 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    Bloomberg said that opposing a president just because of one's alignment with another party is the wrong approach.

    can i oppose him because he's a fucking idiot? pleeeeeze?
    posted by pyramid termite at 5:38 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    and now Mueller is forced to steer far clear of known corruption to protect the reputation of the FBI.

    oh he is forced to do nothing of the kind. is he? I mean not legally, he can't be, can he? Or can he? Protecting the reputation of the FBI due to its own past actions at the expense of protecting the integrity of the FBI and the whole Justice Department in the present day right this second is not a good trade. and the reputation (and integrity) of the White House and all who dwell therein ought to be of paramount concern to him as well, as long as he's investigating. I have a hard time imagining other prosecutions that need to be protected because they are/were more important than prosecuting people such as Donald Trump and his associates, such as.

    if my ignorance of these matters is so vast that it would be more trouble than it's worth to explain it to me, so be it. but whose convictions could it possibly be more important to secure or keep secure than the potential convictions of the people he's investigating right now? I understand that if this speculation is correct, it could cause a terrible mess, but I don't understand how that wouldn't be well worth it and obviously so. like there shouldn't be a question for any honest person, which Mueller is supposed to be. can't really imagine information getting out that would get more people killed than not providing all the information on Trump et al.'s crimes would.
    posted by queenofbithynia at 5:43 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    Bloomberg said that opposing a president just because of one's alignment with another party is the wrong approach.

    When all the vaguely boomer morons who think that the "office of the presidency" is some kind of sacred holy thing die and we give up on that bullshit it will be a great benefit to our democracy. It's an anomaly anyway, nobody paid much mind about the great dignity and honor we owe to the hallowed office of the presidency except for like, the period from FDR to Nixon. Before then and now, we reserved the right to point out shithead presidents as the mere shithead humans they were and are.
    posted by dis_integration at 5:53 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    Right, and look how well their administrations turned out. They won elections, but they couldn't actually accomplish anything approaching a productive agenda...

    Look, I know this is a few hours ago now but I want to put out there that the Clinton and Obama administrations were both fucking awesome on a policy level and I would even go further to say that almost everything good that our Federal government has done for the last 30 years happened during one of those administrations. I freely acknowledge that both administrations were incredibly flawed in important ways, but I stand by that evaluation.

    Clinton raised taxes on the rich, cut taxes on low income families, and balanced the budget. He signed the FMLA and the Brady Bill gun control law. Obama signed the ACA after working with congressional dems to pass it, and regardless of what happens to it in the coming months and years it helped millions of people access healthcare for the past 7 years or so. He implemented DACA and the stimulus bill that may well have kept us out of the second great depression.

    Between the two of them, they are responsible for literally all of the women and non-Christians on the Supreme Court.

    I feel like the "Clinton and Obama administrations sucked" thing is like the retrospective version of democratic defeatism. No they did not. Democratic administrations implement better policies. Life on the ground is better under Democratic administrations. Full stop. This is why we need to fight to achieve more Democratic administrations!
    posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 5:56 PM on June 21 [136 favorites]


    Well, with the exception of Sandra Day O'Connor. But that being said, the point stands.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 6:05 PM on June 21


    Well, with the exception of Sandra Day O'Connor

    She's not currently on the Court, so it is, strictly speaking, a correct statement.
    posted by jedicus at 6:10 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


    The main news from Trump's rambling rally in Iowa is that he says they're going to ban immigrants from welfare and public assistance for five years. That's essentially already current law, but everyone cheered for it, so yeah. They also chanted "lock her up" and he hawked his plan to pay for the wall with solar panels.

    There's also a report that they are going to kill the startup visa rule, which is going to make for an awkward end to Tech Week.

    Exit to "You Can't Always Get What You Want" because nothing matters anymore.
    posted by zachlipton at 6:20 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


    Right, and there have been a bunch of Jewish justices prior to the current Court too, so I assumed Joey meant current justicies. It's interesting that all of the current Christian justices are Roman Catholic. I don't tend to think of Roman Catholics referring to themselves as "Christian", but rather as "Catholic". At least when and where I was growing up (heavily steeped in Catholicism, including attending Catholic schools for 10 years).
    posted by Justinian at 6:21 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    there are major cultural and theological differences between catholics and protestants, especially the evangelical/fundamentalist ones

    it's the major reason why the dominationists aren't going to get that far in this country and the puritan world of the handmaid's tale will remain fictional - the catholics aren't having it, even if they agree with some of the concepts
    posted by pyramid termite at 6:26 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    > To be useful to our democracy the news should cover what's important. However, it tends instead to cover what is "novel".

    This is a good summary of the problem with today's news media. Just like my day is spent dealing with things that are urgent rather than things that are important.

    But I don't know how even a well-intentioned media fixes it. Malaysian MH370 still missing - remember that? Generalissimo Franco still dead? Still no text on the Senate AHCA bill?
    posted by RedOrGreen at 6:27 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    There's also a report that they are going to kill the startup visa rule, which is going to make for an awkward end to Tech Week.

    Of course. We fuck some actual job creators because they're foreigners.
    posted by Talez at 6:34 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    but he should be wearing an orange jumpsuit? because if he weren't an entitled white person, he would be?

    why should we not say this fundamental truth? I mean, it's not like that they filled the suit with bedbugs, I assume. Or bees.
    posted by angrycat at 7:20 PM on June 21 [6 favorites +] [!]


    Because it begins to drag us close to their level, and they are more than willing to go even lower.

    I am not knocking you, at all, but it seems like you are doing the same "sin of omission" I am concerned they will do, which is missing the greater point.

    Orange jumpsuit post makes "us" feel good. The real story is an elected rep. failed to show for court on charges, yet remembered to declare for re-election.

    The orange jumpsuit post (which I have not re-linked to, I hope for obvious reasons) is a distraction. It's a distraction "we" should avoid. "We" should focus on how Rs in Senate and House are bulldozing as much as they can and using instances like that as ways to say we are "other" and "against what voters want", etc.

    Quotation marks are to emphasize a point, which is, essentially, if you are not currently voting R, you are considered "other" and, therefore they will consider us as "other".

    I hope that makes sense.
    posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:05 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    ELECTIONS NEWS

    ** I'm going to follow this up with a recap of what the next couple of special elections are. Remember, YOU can help these folks get elected!

    ** June 20 special -- Four special elections yesterday, they were all Holds. 'Nuff said.

    ** VA gov -- First post-primary Quinnipiac poll has Northam up 47-39 on Gillespie.

    ** ACHA continues to poll terribly. Ipsos and Morning Consult both finding strong majorities opposed.
    posted by Chrysostom at 7:13 PM on June 21 [45 favorites]


    oh look, a patently false statement from @MaggieNYT: "People vote in their own interest. Always. No one should be surprised by that"
    posted by lalex at 7:23 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    Thank you, again, Chrysostom. Even when the news is bad, I appreciate your comments.
    posted by greermahoney at 7:28 PM on June 21 [16 favorites]


    I have a hard time imagining other prosecutions that need to be protected because they are/were more important than prosecuting people such as Donald Trump and his associates, such as.

    It might be hard to imagine now, but someday the FBI will have to prosecute somebody even worse than Trump. Every future prosecution that relies on confidential informants would be imperiled if the FBI couldn't be trusted not to divulge information about an informant. Who would ever cooperate if they knew that law enforcement wouldn't hold up their end of the bargain to protect them? It's an important law enforcement tool and Mueller, a former FBI Director and US Attorney, isn't going to break DOJ policy (pdf) and kneecap the FBI by exposing their dirty laundry in public. It would directly imperil the ability of the DOJ to fulfill its mission in the future.

    Besides, if Trump was an informant and especially if the FBI granted him "authorization of otherwise illegal activity", prosecuting Trump for that now would undermine Mueller's investigation. The political and reputational costs both to the FBI and to his current Special Counsel investigation would be enormous. That's the reason I mentioned the Bulger case, Mueller was Director when an FBI agent went to jail and the bureau paid out $3million in damages over mishandling a CI. It would be proof that the deep state is crooked and out to get him. That would create a real reason for the opposition the shut down the investigation. And then what?
    posted by peeedro at 7:33 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


    I think this, from Dylan Scott, is the best summary of the Senate bill I've seen: "This bill is basically Obamacare, but it cuts taxes and then cuts Medicaid to pay for it."

    The ACA was paid for by a bunch of taxes. Basically all of those get repealed. But the bill has to save the government money, both because that's what Republicans want and to comply it with reconciliation rules, and basic math says you can't do that just by cutting taxes. So it slashes the hell out of Medicaid and reduces the subsides for Exchange plans a bunch, and ta-da, the Senate health care plan; no actual health care policy included.

    oh look, a patently false statement from @MaggieNYT: "People vote in their own interest. Always. No one should be surprised by that"

    After being pressed by the internet puppy I get an alarming percentage of my news from, she's revised this to basically acknowledge that people define their own interest subjectively for themselves, so her statement is just "people vote how they want to." And, I mean, yes, thank you, but even Chris Cillizza has more useful takes than that occasionally.
    posted by zachlipton at 7:48 PM on June 21 [22 favorites]


    UPCOMING SPECIAL ELECTIONS

    As I mentioned earlier, there are still a number of special elections prior to November, and then some in November, plus the regular elections in VA and NJ.

    The state legislative elections, in particular, tend to be shoestring affairs - tens of thousands of dollars or even less. If YOU, Mr. or Ms. Metafilter, can kick in a few bucks, it can make a big difference! Or, if you can phone bank/canvass, or whatever. State legislatures actually make a lot of law, and a lot of it is lousy. If you can, please help.

    I'll make this a semi-regular column as we have elections coming up. Starting today with the next three.

    =============
    JUNE 27 -- Iowa House 22 - Ray Stevens [Through a depressing clusterfuck, Stevens is only a write-in candidate, so he can probably *really* use phonebank/canvass help.]

    HD-22 is currently an R seat (the incumbent passed away); there was no Dem opposition in 2016, 2014, or 2012, so at least someone is running this time. The district went 65-30 Trump.

    ==

    JULY 11 -- Oklahoma House 75 - Karen Gaddis

    HD-75 is currently an R seat (the incumbent resigned after a sex scandal); the R won 60-40 versus Gaddis in 2016; there was no opposition in 2014 or 2012. No 2016 presidential numbers for the district yet, but it went 64-36 for Romney.

    ==

    JULY 18 -- New Hampshire House Merrimack 18 -- Kris Schultz

    HD-18 is currently a D seat (the incumbent resigned for reasons unclear); the D won 56-44 against the same GOP opponent who is running this time; Dem was unopposed in 2014, and won 64-36 in 2012. District went 59-37 for Clinton.
    ==

    Thank you, Mefites!
    posted by Chrysostom at 7:51 PM on June 21 [46 favorites]


    Look, I totally understand the motivation, and even the logic of fighting fire with fire, but it doesn't work. It has never worked. The left is made up of primarily idealists and optimists, who are incapable of becoming mirrorland republicans. Witness the various leftist media empires which never were, despite huge funding and great talent pools. Overthinking ethical beans is what we do man.

    Look, one of my most persistent bad habits is overthinking myself into paralysis. Another problem I have is social anxiety; I've had it all my life. Yet in spite of my analytical, bet-hedging nature and my unease around people, I went and phone banked last fall for the Clinton campaign.

    Do you know what got me off my ass and out the door to the campaign office? It wasn't idealism or optimism. It was anger and fear. I saw this nightmare of a human being blundering toward the launch codes to two thousand nuclear warheads while his minions sharpened their knives to gut the poor and kill the helpless. I saw American citizens enthusiastically lining up behind a two-bit, dipshit con artist. And I was angry, and I was afraid.

    The working people of America SHOULD be angry. Their wealth and well-being are being slowly and systematically strangled out of them while a team of dipshits joyfully shreds up whatever remained of America's international credibility. I don't think it's a coincidence that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the two most popular figureheads of the left wing. They are angry motherfuckers, and I like that they're angry.

    sotonohito had it spot on:

    "In his ongoing efforts to poison your water, Trump is trying to slash nearly 10% of the EPA's workforce so the agency can no longer keep an eye his polluting campaign donors. Trump, who only drinks imported French bottled water, isn't worried about water purity for anyone else."

    And we need that framing pushed, aggressively, on all forms of media from radio to web to print to TV to podcast, and repeated endlessly until even the lowest information voter "knows" that Trump is an elitist scumbag who wants them to die from contaminated water.


    Yes. absolutely yes.
    posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 7:51 PM on June 21 [34 favorites]


    Lucian K. Truscott, Salon: Power in the absence of money
    That’s why it’s so astonishing to hear Trump and his billionaires talking contemptuously about the people who work for them. The problem with bureaucracy is what makes it powerful. Because the Congress writes laws that are nonspecific, it is left to bureaucrats to write the regulations to implement them. Policies can be political but bureaucracies are practical. They are by nature slow, careful, and patient, and they gather power in small bits and pieces, but over time, it adds up. Because the people who work in our government aren’t doing it for the money, they must be motivated by other means. Trump doesn’t know how to do this. His idea of exerting control over the government he leads has been to denigrate and intimidate the agencies and people who work in them. It hasn’t worked. The list of departments that Trump has pissed off in less than six months is dangerously long, and the number of people working in them is frighteningly huge.
    posted by Glibpaxman at 7:52 PM on June 21 [16 favorites]


    It might be hard to imagine now, but someday the FBI will have to prosecute somebody even worse than Trump.

    I know that's theoretically possible, but it feels like science fiction territory. I thought Trump was a really awful person before he ran for office, and my opinion of him went way down after that.

    I'm still don't understand why people watched his TV show, voting for him is still unfathomable to me.
    posted by bongo_x at 8:18 PM on June 21 [13 favorites]


    The FBI may someday have an even worse defendant, but it will never have a more necessary and important prosecution. There is simply no point keeping powder dry when the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief may have been suborned.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 8:33 PM on June 21 [25 favorites]


    [About the nation] Bloomberg added, "We're better today than we have ever been."

    Translation:
    [About his portfolio] Bloomberg salivated, "I'm richer today than I have ever been."
    posted by xigxag at 8:40 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    so her statement is just "people vote how they want to."

    Hey, sometimes they accidentally vote for someone else and don't realize it.
    posted by The World Famous at 8:44 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    The NYT's coverage of Trump's campaign rally is quite the thing:
    [T]he president frequently embellished details during his speech, or told outright falsehoods. He tried to catch himself at one point, saying, “I have to be a little careful, because they’ll say, ‘He lied!’”

    But he nonetheless plowed ahead, including misstating whether the Paris climate agreement, from which he plans to withdraw the United States, is binding. While doing so, he also prompted the audience to name the agreement themselves. “P… p… p,” he said.

    “Like hell it’s nonbinding!” thundered Mr. Trump, who in fact called the accord nonbinding in his Rose Garden speech announcing the withdrawal this month.

    “We’re not even campaigning, and look at this crowd!” he said at another point. The rally was advertised, sponsored and organized by his campaign committee.
    And Trump just today announced a major fundraising event to be held on June 28th.
    posted by cjelli at 8:50 PM on June 21 [44 favorites]


    I'd like to highlight yet another lie Trump told today, in this tweet: @realDonaldTrump Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0

    I've been hearing that 5-0 claim a lot today. The first time I looked it up & sure enough, the real record is 4-1. A guy named Jimmy Gomez won CA-34 a couple weeks ago & he's a Democrat.

    So why did Trump lie about something so easily verifiable? Because the truth of something isn't what's important to him. In his mind things are true if they help sell his case & 5-0 sells better than 4-1. And now all his zombies are out there crowing about how we can't even win one out of 5 when we did. And he knows he'll never be held accountable for it so there's no price to be paid for lying. And that's why he did it, because it sounds better.
    posted by scalefree at 9:12 PM on June 21 [50 favorites]


    The Reichstag Fire Next Time - Masha Gessen
    That is what we talk about when we talk about the Reichstag fire, and it has already happened. Like sad versions of the characters in The Wizard of Oz, who set off in search of traits they already possess, we are living in fear of an event that will catapult us into a terrifying future, when the event has already occurred—and has given us our terrifying present.
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:19 PM on June 21 [59 favorites]


    "There's also a report that they are going to kill the startup visa rule, which is going to make for an awkward end to Tech Week."

    Of course. We fuck some actual job creators because they're foreigners.


    The idea isn't even so much to screw over foreigners as, along with the H1b Visa changes, to fuck with Silicon Valley. The Trump regime doesn't care so much if job creators are harmed, as long as people on his enemies list are screwed over.
    posted by happyroach at 9:24 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


    “We’re not even campaigning, and look at this crowd!” he said at another point. The rally was advertised, sponsored and organized by his campaign committee.

    So if Trump is campaigning in Iowa, isn't his campaign basically admitting that the Iowa caucus will be competitive? I was thinking that he was going to be primaried in 2020, but it's funny to see they are already preparing for that. Will his next rally take place in New Hampshire or would that be too obvious?
    posted by peeedro at 9:37 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    This is Trump. He rallies where he earned some strokes recently. He's not looking ahead on the electoral calendar. He's looking for more strokes.
    posted by notyou at 9:42 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    Brilliant essay, tmotat. Thanks for the link.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:52 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


    So if Trump is campaigning in Iowa, isn't his campaign basically admitting that the Iowa caucus will be competitive? I was thinking that he was going to be primaried in 2020, but it's funny to see they are already preparing for that. Will his next rally take place in New Hampshire or would that be too obvious?

    Category error. Campaign strategy has no part in the decision to go to Iowa. It was chosen purely because Trump won there so he knew it was a safe place to go where he could receive the adulation that is his due. It's his narcissism that took him there, not strategy.
    posted by scalefree at 10:08 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


    He also prefers going to states that voted for him.
    posted by kirkaracha at 10:10 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


    He's also rewarding them with his presence, so they can bask in his glory.
    posted by scalefree at 10:12 PM on June 21


    Folks around here seem to be a bit loath to draw any campaign-specific conclusions from GA-06. But there does seem to me to be one fairly straightforward lesson to draw. The whole reason Democrats thought they had a chance in GA-06 was that Trump only won it by 1.5 points, and the main reason the Democrats now tell us not to be disappointed with underperforming this margin by 2.3 (especially compared to the huge over-performance in the three other specials) is that GA-06 is actually a lot less moderate than it seemed, having gone +23 and +19 for R in '12 and '08. So relative to those earlier benchmarks, Dems outperformed the baseline at least as well in GA-06 as in the other special elections.

    But that still leaves unexplained the question of why GA-06 turned so radically against Trump compared to the other special election districts, to which it was much more similar in '12 and '08. Whatever the cause, though, if one thought the +1.5 margin in '16 was a good reason to go all-in for the special election, then that means that the only hope was to especially leverage the Trump effect, without which GA-06 was just as impossible as KA-04, MT-AL, and SC-05. I think almost everyone agrees that Ossoff didn't do this. And based on the numbers, that seems like a significant mistake, one that undermined the entire strategy of going all-in based on that +1.5 in '16. That, at least, seems like a reasonable lesson to take forward to '18 when fighting in R districts that similarly turned against Trump. You can't just trust in the anti-Trump effect: it would instead appear (though we can't know the counterfactual!) that you need to vigorously activate it.
    posted by chortly at 11:41 PM on June 21 [15 favorites]


    Why aren't all the news shows talking about how utterly crazy ugly trump's face is? It's just getting worse and his hair is getting weirder. Fucking demon; a highly organized macro cancer cell.
    posted by Burhanistan at 11:42 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


    It's the campaign that never ends, it just keeps going on and on my friends. Trump basks in the idolation of his loving, servile crowds and the rest of us marvel at his ugly clown visage because this is the campaign that never ends...
    posted by SakuraK at 11:52 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


    The Man of Twists and Turns linked to this article by Masha Gessen in The New Yorker upthread. It's brilliant and I can't recommend it too highly: The Reichstag Fire Next Time
    posted by Joe in Australia at 11:53 PM on June 21 [12 favorites]


    I mean, if I had a cable news show we'd have a nightly segment that just deconstructs the latest footage of his face, however brief or prolonged the exposure that day. Some slow-mo, screen scribble markups, guest expert commentary, etc. Solid time slot filler.
    posted by Burhanistan at 12:05 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    Oh, and I guess the one other lesson we might learn from these special elections is a negative one. Either GA-06 did a little worse than the others, or it did about the same, depending on the benchmark one uses. But either way, Ossoff's strategy of moderation did no better than the slightly more left-leaning strategies in some of the other elections. So these elections provide little evidence that Democrats must run centrist candidates in centrist districts in order to maximize the wave in '18. The anti-Trump effect may hold regardless of the precise ideological strategy of the Democratic candidate, and efforts to push for more centrist Democrats in conservative districts seem as unjustified by these recent data as claims that only populists can win it. Of course, there's thousands of elections worth of other evidence out there, but at least based on these recent ones, Democrats have seen little reason to think that they shouldn't feel free to run on whatever substantive platform they please.
    posted by chortly at 12:06 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    linked to this article by Masha Gessen in The New Yorker

    lest anyone be put off by that imprint: it's actually in Harper's Magazine. (And it's profound.)
    posted by progosk at 12:16 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    Oops, you're correct of course: Harper's
    posted by Joe in Australia at 12:27 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Apart from his ugly face, the media should be questioning who those "they" are, ugly old man keeps talking about.

    I mean, I guess it's a mash up of liberal elites, MSM and the deep state, and his fans know that, but it should be questioned publicly because he is the president and he has a Republican congress. He's supposed to be in control, and yet he acts and speaks like a lazy stupid schoolboy who is half scared and half defiant of the strict parents who will ground him forever if they learn what he is up to.
    posted by mumimor at 12:39 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    He's Zaphod Beeblebrox and he's too stupid to know it. Think upon that for a while (but not too long or Ivanka will work that into her fashion line)
    posted by SakuraK at 1:10 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    He's a Zaphod Beeblebrox gone horribly wrong. I'd take the Z man any day over the current strag.
    posted by christopherious at 1:30 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    He doesn't get to ruin H2G2 too!! He's ruined plenty of things already.
    Besides, I thought we were refraining from doomsday storylines of intergalactic destruction in this thread.
    posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 1:36 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    You're right, he doesn't. Not here, anyway. There are interesting similarities but not enough of a pattern IMO.
    posted by christopherious at 1:48 AM on June 22


    I have a hope that the combination of the Philando Castille verdict, the GA special election outcome, and a successful repeal of the ACA, combined with Russia interference, is going to push people's feelings into a different place, one of more urgent resistance.

    The dominant narrative--from the results of the election, the results of the special election (the perception of it, anyway), the WH's refusal to provide information, the chances that the AHCA will win despite its deep unpopularity, and may 156 other things--is that the system is broken.

    I'm not urging accelerationism and hey maybe we can MLK this awfulness. But greater anger is coming.

    Me, for instance. There is somebody close to me struggling with health issues that MA barely addresses (psychological, natch). I'm already on hair-trigger because I'm so concerned and sad about his state, which really, by all laws of God and Nature, demands greater attention.

    If AHCA fucks with his ability to receive the meagre care that he receives right now and horrible things happen as a result, all of my sadness and anger will be directed at the GOP. And yeah, I have anger issues, I'm in therapy. That said, I can feel the dog of anger straining at its leash already, when I contemplate the fate of my loved one.

    This is 1/6th of the economy. 24 million people. This is a giant foot coming down on the poor and middle classes. But like the guy's coat of arms in "The Cask of Amontillado," this injury will not go unpunished, and the snake stepped upon will bite.
    posted by angrycat at 4:18 AM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    Government can work for people. It can improve their lives

    Sure it could - but is it? NPR's Fresh Air just did a book promo interview about the save us, you die plans of "Government".

    How is the US of A's government's DOD vs not DOD spending 'working for the people' as an example? How about the money on debt servicing - how is that 'working for the people'?
    posted by rough ashlar at 4:24 AM on June 22


    There is simply no point keeping powder dry when the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief may have been suborned.

    Because then he'd be treated different from all the other suborners. Alan Dershowitz made that argument in his defense of Clinton and cites the American Bar Association article "The Lies Have It". The lies have been allowed for decades. Why would or SHOULD this new liar be punished when decades of past fibbers have been allowed to slip past?
    posted by rough ashlar at 4:45 AM on June 22


    The question as to whether Clinton lied when he denied having had sex "with that woman" is in no way comparable with the possibility that Trump and his coterie are working for Russia.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 4:55 AM on June 22 [48 favorites]


    The question as to whether Clinton lied when he denied having had sex "with that woman" is in no way comparable with the possibility that Trump and his coterie are working for Russia.

    And you sir, missed the point.

    The argument of 'you have let other suborners go' was made in the Clinton case. And there has been another 2 decades of suborners allowed to skate past the Clinton event. If the District Attorney of the most populated area in a state claims for 30 years he'd seen perjury unpunished that is 5 decades of allowing people to skate.

    But feel free to latch onto it is about Clinton. Because his name was mentioned. Ignore that Alan Deshowitz is considered a constitutional law scholar with his argument about letting perjury skate and instead focus on that blue dress blowjob. Rather than being concerned for the corrosive effect of not-honest courts and legal process and what could be done to fix what's been broken for decades, worry about how 'incomparable' one event of 'suborned' is to another.

    I'd rather see suborning fixed at the bottom so the people at the top are worried VS thinking that somehow the spider web of laws haning on the boughs of the tree of liberty entangle the weak and small to be fed upon will, somehow, not be like the spider web between the boughs of the tree which allow the powerful and large to pass though it unhindered.
    posted by rough ashlar at 5:44 AM on June 22


    Do you know what 'suborn' means?
    posted by thelonius at 5:49 AM on June 22 [22 favorites]


    A really good article by Jamelle Bouie at Slate: Why Obama Voters Defected: New findings explain how Trump won them over—and why he probably wouldn’t next time..

    The conclusion:
    This is a portrait of the most common Obama-to-Trump voter: a white American who wants government intervention in the economy but holds negative, even prejudiced, views toward racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. In 2012, these voters seemed to value economic liberalism over a white, Christian identity and backed Obama over Romney. By 2016, the reverse was true: Thanks to Trump’s campaign, and the events of the preceding years, they valued that identity over economic assistance. In which case, you can draw an easy conclusion about the Clinton campaign—even accounting for factors like misogyny and James Comey’s twin interventions, it failed to articulate an economic message strong enough to keep those populists in the fold and left them vulnerable to Trump’s identity appeal. You could then make a firm case for the future: To win them back, you need liberal economic populism.

    But there’s another way to read the data. Usually, voters in the political crosscurrents, like Drutman’s populists, have to prioritize one of their chief concerns. That’s what happened in 2008 and 2012. Yes, they held negative views toward nonwhites and other groups, but neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney ran on explicit prejudice. Instead, it was a standard left vs. right ideological contest, and a substantial minority of populists sided with Obama because of the economy. That wasn’t true of the race with Trump. He tied his racial demagoguery to a liberal-sounding economic message, activating racial resentment while promising jobs, entitlements, and assistance. When Hillary Clinton proposed a $600 billion infrastructure plan, he floated a $1 trillion one. When Clinton pledged help on health care, Trump did the same, promising a cheaper, better system. Untethered from the conservative movement, Trump had space to move left on the economy, and he did just that. For the first time in recent memory, populist voters didn’t have to prioritize their values. They could choose liberal economic views and white identity, and they did.

    This fact makes it difficult to post hypotheticals about the election. It’s possible a more populist campaign would have prevented those Obama defections. But a Trump who blurs differences on economic policy is a Trump who might still win a decisive majority of those voters who want a welfare state for whites. In the context of 2016, that blend of racial antagonism and economic populism may have been decisive. (The other option, it should be said, is that with a more populist presidential campaign, Democrats might have activated lower-turnout liberal voters, thus making Obama-to-Trump voters irrelevant.)

    The good news for Democrats—and the even better news for the populist left—is that unless Trump makes a swift break with the Republican Party, his combined economic and identity-based appeal was a one-time affair. In 2020, if he runs for re-election, Trump will just be a Republican, and while he’s certain to prime racial resentment, he’ll also have a conservative economic record to defend. In other words, it will be harder to muddy the waters. And if it’s harder to muddy the waters, then it’s easier for Democrats—and especially a Democratic populist—to draw the distinctions that win votes.
    posted by chris24 at 5:56 AM on June 22 [43 favorites]


    He's not Zaphod - he's the Man in the Shack (warning: old mega-thread link)
    posted by mikepop at 5:57 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Do you know what 'suborn' means?

    Suborning perjury is what legally matters - why use the stand alone word? Part of government EVERYWHERE is built on "to secretly furnish or equip".
    posted by rough ashlar at 6:00 AM on June 22


    Absolutely not -- the Man in the Shack was humble and unassuming and the entire point of his character was anonymity. A universe where nobody knew who Trump was would be his own personal circle of Hell.
    posted by delfin at 6:13 AM on June 22 [14 favorites]


    @CandyAppleAlly
    The "Pelosi must go" campaign reminds me that if Republicans demonize a successful woman enough, Democratic dudes will eventually join in

    - They will tell you that they feel bad about it. That it's just "political realities". That the GOP just hates her so much she's "toxic"

    - They will also never, ever talk this way about a man
    posted by chris24 at 6:19 AM on June 22 [118 favorites]


    Christ, we just fall into these stupid traps laid by Republicans every single time.

    Rs: "Oh, this briar patch is so ineffective! Someone get me out of this toxic briar patch!"
    Ds: "We will get right on that!"
    posted by soren_lorensen at 6:28 AM on June 22


    And god forbid you tell Democratic dudes (and the occasional dudette) that they should examine WHY they hate *insert female politician* so so so much more than their male equivalent. They'd vote for Elizabeth Warren in a heartbeat, they can't possibly be sexist! YOU'RE THE SEXIST.

    Okay. Seeing it play out again with Pelosi is just giving me hives right now.
    posted by lydhre at 6:35 AM on June 22 [43 favorites]


    No press conference today. Are these just over now?
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:38 AM on June 22


    The president was very clear in his tweet and/or Mussolini style rant.
    posted by Artw at 6:48 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    Re: the article chris24 just posted:

    This fact makes it difficult to post hypotheticals about the election. It’s possible a more populist campaign would have prevented those Obama defections. But a Trump who blurs differences on economic policy is a Trump who might still win a decisive majority of those voters who want a welfare state for whites.

    This sounds a lot like stuff that corb has been saying in these threads for months now. Or more specifically, this sounds like what she's been articulating as a fear that he will continue to do (and by doing so will continue to win). That if he started proposing things like single-payer but only for "natural born citizens," etc., we would start to see his approval/disapproval numbers reverse. I'm concerned she and the author are both right. And I'm concerned the next Trump-esque figure will be able to do just that.
    posted by penduluum at 6:51 AM on June 22 [15 favorites]


    I still don't understand why people watched his TV show.

    I watched the first few seasons of The Apprentice. It was heavily promoted, it was a new idea at the time, and I'll try almost anything once.

    The first season wasn't terrible. Many of the contestants were actually competent professionals who wanted to win and hoped it was help launch their careers. We watched the next few seasons (I can recall seeing Omarosa's 1st appearance at least) hoping it would get better by sliding more towards the serious business competition aspect of the show rather than lean into the fake reality TV aspect of it.

    They really went the other way, HARD. Contestants were more obviously incompetent and they started to make themselves into more ever more extreme caricatures of their real selves.

    One thing that stuck out for me from the very beginning was that Trump has horrible business sense. I suspect that part of the appeal at the start was that people who actually know what they're talking about would listen to Trump at the "board meeting" as he made conclusions that were wrong and stupid. Perplexed and angry at, I don't know, the injustice of such an obvious buffoon being allowed to present himself as a serious person who knows what they're doing. Then we need to keep watching every episode to see what nonsense he'll say next.

    At some point, they had Ivanka and Trump Jr. on the show as guest judges. Ivanka displayed some poise and was otherwise unremarkable, Jr. came off as an incompetent douche bro who was lucky to have been born into wealth.

    It kept getting worse until it completely jumped the shark into Celebrity Apprentice where it doubled down on everything I didn't like about the show. I kind of thought that anyone still watching it was just there to see a weird slow-motion train wreck and found it morbidly entertaining.

    When Trump first announced he was running for office, I thought back to the show and quickly dismissed the idea. Surely everyone else will have seen the same things I saw and his bid will go nowhere. Once he won the nomination I thought, "Well, that just the crazy Republicans that vote in the primaries, there's no way this ends in anything but a landslide victory for Hillary."

    I mean, I know that Trump didn't really win because he was a better candidate but my mistake was in thinking that most other people saw what I saw on that show and that that knowledge would keep them from voting for Trump. I don't understand how ANYONE could have watched that show and EVERY voted for Trump as President of anything ever. Rarely have I been more wrong than that. While I still mostly trust my own judgement, I've lost trust in the judgement of a HUGE chunk of Americans, including the 36% that still think he's doing a good job, especially them. I just wish they'd label themselves so I can keep my distance.
    posted by VTX at 6:51 AM on June 22 [27 favorites]


    The first season wasn't terrible. Many of the contestants were actually competent professionals who wanted to win and hoped it was help launch their careers. We watched the next few seasons (I can recall seeing Omarosa's 1st appearance at least) hoping it would get better by sliding more towards the serious business competition aspect of the show rather than lean into the fake reality TV aspect of it.

    Omarosa was on the first season. That was when Trump first hosted SNL, which served as a practice run for the live boardroom finale on the same stage the following week.
    posted by ZeusHumms at 7:01 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Re "Nancy Pelosi Must Go:" - srsly, Democrats, do you think that if you only jettison Nancy with her Girl Cooties and San Francisco Cooties, then the Republicans will want to work with you?

    Ha. Ha. Hahahaha fucking HA. Listen up: THEY WILL NEVER COOPERATE WITH YOU. THEY DON'T WANT TO WORK WITH YOU. EVER EVER EVER. They are Lucy with the football, and you are Charlie Brown who never learns.

    It's true that Nancy Pelosi is in her 70's, so it is time to start grooming the new generation of Democratic leadership, but tossing Pelosi overboard now in hopes of kissing some Republican butt WILL NOT WORK.

    Gaaaah I can't believe thinking people are falling for this.
    posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:02 AM on June 22 [81 favorites]


    I don't understand how ANYONE could have watched that show and EVERY voted for Trump as President of anything ever. Rarely have I been more wrong than that. While I still mostly trust my own judgement, I've lost trust in the judgement of a HUGE chunk of Americans, including the 36% that still think he's doing a good job, especially them. I just wish they'd label themselves so I can keep my distance.

    I feel the same way, but going back even further, Biff in Back to the Future II was based on Trump. The guy has been a stupid hairdo joke of a person for decades. I'm continually flabbergasted that anyone thinks he's in any way a person to be taken seriously. It makes me want to scream at the sky WHYYYYYYYYYYYY
    posted by Fleebnork at 7:07 AM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    Re "Nancy Pelosi Must Go:" - srsly, Democrats, do you think that if you only jettison Nancy with her Girl Cooties and San Francisco Cooties, then the Republicans will want to work with you?

    This this this. The GOP's playbook has "[insert Democrat leader here]" on every fucking page and Pelosi on none. They don't care about her literally at all. Not a jot nor a tiddle.
    posted by Etrigan at 7:08 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    I don't understand how anyone could watch Trump in any context for more than 3 minutes and vote for him. Yet here we are. White supremacy is a hell of a drug.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 7:08 AM on June 22 [31 favorites]


    The New York Times: Senate Leaders Unveil Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
    The Senate bill — once promised as a top-to-bottom revamp of the health bill passed by the House last month — instead maintains its structure, with modest adjustments.

    This is pretty much the same bill that was described as "mean", "cold-hearted" and a "son-of-a-bitch" by noted liberal analyst President Donald J. Trump. I will be calling my Republican senators to remind them of this!
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:09 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    so when do we man the barricades?
    posted by entropicamericana at 7:11 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    I watched the first few seasons of The Apprentice. It was heavily promoted, it was a new idea at the time, and I'll try almost anything once.

    It was a decent show the first season, and like stated above a novel idea at the time. I never gave much thought to Trump other than he's a philandering rich guy like other philandering rich guys, and now he has a TV show.

    It was when he went after Rosie O'Donnell with such virulence that he revealed his soul to me. The hateful way he attacked her because she made a joke about his hair. That was the moment I was never able to see him as anything other than a disgusting human being, and unfortunately he has not for one moment since made me think otherwise.
    posted by archimago at 7:11 AM on June 22


    I'm continually flabbergasted that anyone thinks he's in any way a person to be taken seriously. It makes me want to scream at the sky WHYYYYYYYYYYYY

    It's because he's ostentatiously wealthy. Some people are really into that! He is the Bow Wow of global politics.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:12 AM on June 22


    Add another program to Fox & Friends as Trump's shows.

    FYI: the TVs on Air Force One are programmed to record "Property Brothers"
    posted by chris24 at 7:16 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    Paige Winfield Cunningham/WaPo: The Health 202: Here's what's in the Senate health-care bill
    ... the Senate bill contains three elements McConnell is betting will win over a half dozen or so moderates who remain skeptical but whose votes are crucial to overall passage (remember: the majority leaders needs only 50 votes since arcane budget rules are being applied to the measure, meaning he can lose just two Republicans). McConnell's draft, hashed out behind closed doors, basically retains Obamacare's insurance subsidy structure -- with just a few tweaks -- takes a gentler approach than the House bill in the short-term to Medicaid expansion, and wouldn't allow states to opt out of key protections for patients with preexisting conditions.

    The idea, aides and lobbyists say, is to provide a softer landing for people at lower ends of the income spectrum than under the House bill. That measure based the subsidies only on age and didn't peg them to actual premiums, resulting in estimates of dramatic cost spikes for some Americans and prompting a heavy onslaught of public criticism that spooked many House moderates.
    posted by ZeusHumms at 7:17 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Michael Bloomberg embodies "with friends like these, who needs enemies".

    What the actual fuck?

    "The people have spoken"? Yes, Mike, they did. And they voted overwhelmingly against the Orange Turd. Nearly 4 million more people voted for Clinton, he's not stinking up the Oval Office because America voted for him, he's stinking up the Oval Office because despite America voting **AGAINST** him our stupid fucking Electoral College overruled the people and installed him against America's will.

    And cooperate with him? No. I'll oppose him twice as hard as the Republicans opposed Obama, partially because we should do that to any Republican simply as payback and to remind the Republicans that they have to play nice or we won't, but even more so because he's a catastrophe who will ruin America if he isn't opposed in everything he does or says.

    As for respect and reverence for the office of the presidency, like so many other demands for respect it seems to only apply to Republicans. I didn't see any respect or reverence for the office of the Presidency when Obama was holding that office, so I'll be damned if I'll give a Republican what they wouldn't give a Democrat.
    posted by sotonohito at 7:21 AM on June 22 [24 favorites]


    This fact makes it difficult to post hypotheticals about the election. It’s possible a more populist campaign would have prevented those Obama defections. But a Trump who blurs differences on economic policy is a Trump who might still win a decisive majority of those voters who want a welfare state for whites.

    This sounds a lot like stuff that corb has been saying in these threads for months now. Or more specifically, this sounds like what she's been articulating as a fear that he will continue to do (and by doing so will continue to win). That if he started proposing things like single-payer but only for "natural born citizens," etc., we would start to see his approval/disapproval numbers reverse. I'm concerned she and the author are both right. And I'm concerned the next Trump-esque figure will be able to do just that.

    This is what many of the European populists do, and it is toxic. Both for the obvious reasons, and also because gradually they are moving the discourse. People who were actively fighting racism a decade ago will now say "I was naive back then" and things you couldn't even mention in public before are now spoken on national radio/TV every day.
    posted by mumimor at 7:21 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    Republicans' Proposed Medicaid Cuts Would Hit Rural Patients Hard (NPR, June 22, 2017) -- the headline doesn't do the story justice. The Republican anti-healthcare plans would ruin rural communities by cutting Medicaid. When the regional hospital is the largest employer, and that employer depends on Medicaid, cuts to this program mean impacts to the entire region.
    For the hundreds of rural U.S. hospitals struggling to stay in business, health policy decisions made in Washington, D.C., this summer could make survival a lot tougher.

    Since 2010, at least 79 rural hospitals have closed across the country, and nearly 700 more are at risk of closing. These hospitals serve a largely older, poorer and sicker population than most hospitals, making them particularly vulnerable to changes made to Medicaid funding.

    "A lot of hospitals like [ours] could get hurt," says Kerry Noble, CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems, which runs the public hospital in Pemiscot County, one of the poorest in Missouri.

    The GOP's American Health Care Act would cut Medicaid — the public insurance program for many low-income families, children and elderly Americans, as well as people with disabilities — by as much as $834 billion. The Congressional Budget Office has said that would result in 23 million more people being uninsured in the next 10 years. Even more could lose coverage under the budget proposed by President Trump, which suggests an additional $610 billion in cuts to the program.

    That is a problem for small rural hospitals like Pemiscot Memorial, which depend on Medicaid. The hospital serves an agricultural county that ranks worst in Missouri for most health indicators, including premature deaths, quality of life and even adult smoking rates. Closing the county's hospital could make those much worse.

    And a rural hospital closure goes beyond people losing health care. Jobs, property values and even schools can suffer. Pemiscot County already has the state's highest unemployment rate. Losing the hospital would mean losing the county's largest employer.

    "It would be devastating economically," Noble says. "Our annual payrolls are around $20 million a year."
    That's money that isn't going back into the community. Major Federal programs like Medicaid don't support single aspects of a community or the population, they can raise the standard of living for whole regions, keep skilled people in the area and reduce the "brain drain" as local folks move elsewhere for good paying, reliable jobs.
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on June 22 [45 favorites]


    I can't find numbers at the moment, but I'm willing to bet that rural and small hospitals employ waaay more people than the GOP's pet industry, coal. And hospitals are places people would be happy to work and have their children work, unlike coal mines.
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:24 AM on June 22 [38 favorites]


    Yeah, but caregiving is a girl job. Doesn't count.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 7:26 AM on June 22 [35 favorites]


    The New York Times: The changes being considered in Congress could “amount to a 25 percent shortfall in covering the actual cost of providing care to our nation’s neediest citizens,” the top executives of 10 insurance companies wrote this week. “These amounts spell deep cuts, not state flexibilities, in Medicaid.”
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:27 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    The big guy himself is clumsily trying to reverse-psychology us into dumping "Nancy P." Bonus reference to the time Schumer wept when he talked about his family dying in the Holocaust. I for one am convinced.

    @realDonaldTrump
    I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party - and please let Cryin' Chuck stay!

    posted by Rust Moranis at 7:29 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    They already began the ruralcommunityruining process by wrecking public education. Rural schools keep their towns alive. Robbing public education closes schools, and that kicks the legs out from under little towns. They've knocked them down, and now they're curbstomping them.
    posted by Don Pepino at 7:31 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    Ben Wikler breaks it down for us. The tl;dr is that this isn't just "repeal and replace" of Obamacare, this is a direct attack on the poor and a gutting of the LBJ-era Great Society. Here's his tweetstorm in paragraph form:
    These Medicaid cuts are insidious. Designed to get bigger every year—so, outside window that CBO scores, they asphyxiate the program. Right now, Medicaid is a guarantee. if you're on Medicaid, you wake up w crushing headache, docs find brain tumor, your care is covered. If there's a spike in cancer—or say opioid addiction—in your state, federal funds will help cover it all. Trumpcare ends that. Under Trumpcare, states get a fixed, capped amount of $ per person (diff amt for kids, older adults, etc). If need grows, $ doesn't. Medical costs have always grown faster than general rate of inflation. Under Senate Trumpcare, Medicaid caps lock to rate of inflation. Senate Trumpcare means a giant Medicaid cut—and one that gets more vicious every passing year. Even worse during health crises. State budgets will be crushed by a vise. As Federal Medicaid $ disappear, they'll slash schools, roads, public safety to fill the hole. Trumpcare won't just devastate health care. Everything your state government does is in danger. Rural hospitals will literally close. Class sizes will rise. The only people who benefit: the wealthy who get a tax cut.

    Senate Trumpcare is worse than House Trumpcare. And House Trumpcare was horrible.
    posted by zombieflanders at 7:36 AM on June 22 [106 favorites]


    I was astonished to note this morning that the Marketplace Morning Report -- presumably more business-friendly than the reputedly "liberal" NPR -- was both more upfront about the nature of the draconian Medicaid cuts and used the word "secret" -- as opposed to the Republican-preferred "private" -- to describe the drafting process.
    posted by Gelatin at 7:37 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    They're banking on expanding the other rural employer -- prisons.

    If you haven't read Blood in the Water yet (re the Attica uprising and the rural prison system in general), I highly recommend it.
    posted by melissasaurus at 7:41 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Framing again:

    "Senate Republican plan is rural genocide"

    Or

    "RepubliCare: a tax cut for the elites paid for by the blood of rural voters"

    Or

    "Trump to rural Americans: Drop dead"

    Or

    "Why does the Republican party hate heartland America so much they voted to kill hardworking rural Americans?"

    Or

    "Republicans repay decades of loyal Republican voters with a plan to close their local hospitals"

    Or

    "Why do Congressional Republicans hate America?"
    posted by sotonohito at 7:51 AM on June 22 [44 favorites]


    Michael Bloomberg embodies "with friends like these, who needs enemies".

    What the actual fuck?


    Bloomberg was a lifelong member of the Democratic Party until his run for NYC mayor in 2001, whereupon he switched to the GOP. Even after he changed his affiliation independent in 2007, he appeared on the Republican ballot line in the 2009 election. We're going to have to come up with an acronym that's the reverse of RINO - a Republican Incognito for Naming Obfuscation.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 7:52 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    I've been amazed to read several sources refer to the Medicaid "expansion" and then what the AHCA plans to do to it: it's like otherwise-literate writers have forgotten the word contraction.
    posted by Dashy at 7:53 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    Associated Press: Gingrich: It's OK, Trump was only lying about "tapes" because he's "not a professional politician"

    (Are you sure? It seems pretty lucrative so far)
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:53 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    Congratulations, libertarians: you're about to get your utopia.

    Sure, thousands will die every year, the slave state will likely be resurrected in all but name, and the concept of class mobility will be all but extinct, but I'm sure it was all worth it just to get your ~hypotheticals~ put into action.
    posted by zombieflanders at 7:54 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    I uh... walked away from this thread last night after my last comment was deleted and didn't realize LM had undeleted it until just now. It's at least a hundred comments too late now, but thank you, LM. And thank you as well, You Can't Tip a Buick. I'll stop talking about it now, but just wanted to say that.
    posted by zarq at 7:54 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    it's like otherwise-literate writers have forgotten the word contraction.

    If you are experiencing regular, strong contractions of your Medicaid, it's now time to head to a hospital and go bankrupt
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:55 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    How about -- rural hospitals will bleed to death after AHCA slashes funding.
    posted by puddledork at 7:56 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    So now let's see what CRAZY thing Trump does to distract us from the 20,000,000 people who will lose insurance. I'm thinking war.
    posted by Glibpaxman at 7:57 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    We need the Senate Democrats to be out there vowing to protect rural Americans, emphasizing that they're working to protect Republican voters from a Republican Congress that has chosen to sacrifice them for the benefit of elite stockbrokers.

    We need Chuck Schumer out there saying that RepubliCare would be a huge benefit to many of New York's richest people, but he puts the health of Heartland Americans above the elites of his state.

    We need them vowing to shut down the Senate to prevent this plan to shutter rural hospitals from passing, because as Democrats they believe in doing the right thing for America whether or the victims of RepubliCare are Democratic voters or not.

    That's the sort of specifics I mean when I say we need to fight the motherfuckers 24/7 and we need to be mean, vicious, aggressive, and fight dirty. It's all 100% true, it's just framed in a really aggressive, vicious, sort of way.

    And we need to push that on every channel that has a Democratic spokesperson, we need some unified framing here so that the message is clear and penetrates quickly and is easily memorable.

    We need soundbite level ultra aggressive, mean, framing: "Democrats stand united against the Republican plan to ruin rural America!"
    posted by sotonohito at 7:57 AM on June 22 [39 favorites]


    "The Republicans' war on rural America and the middle class" sounds pretty good to me.
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:06 AM on June 22 [32 favorites]


    (Trumpoids) Ridiculous. Rural hospitals will run better once we remove all the waste from the system, like spending money on urban ni*BONNNNGG*
    (News viewer) What'd he say?
    (Chuck Todd) He says that Trumpcare's near!
    (Gabby Johnson) *stomps foot* No, ragggh nabbitt!
    posted by delfin at 8:08 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    Foreign Policy in Focus.
    Behind all of Trump's boneheaded policies in the Middle East is an unmistakable urge for confrontation with Iran.
    posted by adamvasco at 8:09 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    God it's like waking up to your daily dose of evil and preview of death
    posted by angrycat at 8:13 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    @realDonaldTrump
    I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party - and please let Cryin' Chuck stay!


    Those nicknames that Impotent Donald Trump comes up with are just so clever and devastating! Impotent Donald Trump thinks that if a nickname is repeated often enough, then there will be a permanent association in the minds of the voters. I think Impotent Donald Trump might be right about that!
    posted by flarbuse at 8:18 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    Oh come on. It's ni*CLANG* everyone knows that. Bong, sheesh.
    posted by phearlez at 8:19 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]




    I have plenty of polite and neighborly interactions with Trump voters, but there's only one person I consider a good friend who refused to vote for Hillary for big-government-corruption-bullshit reasons. Not sure if she actually voted for Trump or voted Johnson/didn't vote at all ("let's not talk about it"), but her entire family are profoundly far-right MAGAheads so there's a lot of cultural pressure there.

    Anyway, she's an RN at a rural hospital in an extremely Medicaid-dependent county and one projected to be very badly hit by cuts. If any hospitals close because of this, it'll be hers.

    I wonder how she's gonna take it and if it'll change her outlook. Will she just accept losing her livelihood as the price tag of the libertarian ideal? Will she realize who's doing this and what she can do about it at the next election? Worst case scenario (and one the pessimistic-but-so-far-accurate lobe of my brain is telling me there's about a 50% chance of) is that she gets convinced by fox news and most of her milieu that it's somehow the fault of liberals/minorities/the resistance. If that happens, our friendship and the USA as a whole will be irrevocably megafucked.
    posted by Rust Moranis at 8:21 AM on June 22 [14 favorites]


    I haven't been on Republican Twitter long enough to know if he's imitating it or they're imitating him, but either way these sorts of nicknames seem to be super common, unfortunately. I suspect it's his equivalent of faking a Texas accent.
    posted by corb at 8:21 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    We need the Senate Democrats to be out there vowing to protect rural Americans, emphasizing that they're working to protect Republican voters from a Republican Congress that has chosen to sacrifice them for the benefit of elite stockbrokers.

    And continuing that thing where they withhold unanimous consent, and slow the process by forcing Republicans to vote on every parliamentary procedure and dilatory motion.

    And then start airing ads about how so-called moderates like Susan Collins voted to destroy Medicare and Medicaid large-number-x number of times.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:22 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    I haven't been on Republican Twitter long enough to know if he's imitating it or they're imitating him, but either way these sorts of nicknames seem to be super common, unfortunately.

    I remember reading blogs back in 1999 or 2000 or so when Republicans thought calling the Democratic candidate "Algore" was clever somehow. Their wit has not improved since.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:25 AM on June 22


    i'm still trying to figure out how destroying their own constituency is going to work out for the republican party - a constituency that is well-armed and perhaps more inclined to actually rebel than any other

    are they insane?
    posted by pyramid termite at 8:26 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    No, they'll be convinced that it was all the fault of Obama/Democrats/socialists/etc and that will be that.
    posted by zombieflanders at 8:28 AM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    I'm skeptical that any framing attempts made by Democrats have much chance of counteracting decades' worth of rhetorical carpet-bombing by Fox News and talk radio. Many of these people have spent their entire adult lives being told - over and over and over again - that literally nothing a Democrat says can be believed, and when the machine swings into gear and tells people like Rust Moranis' friend that the medical and economic misery that the AHCA will unleash is, in fact, "the fault of liberals/minorities/the resistance," they will believe it. And they will be angry.
    posted by The Card Cheat at 8:28 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    I think, PT, that they're counting on the fact that their voters are racists who, if they believe black people and Latinx people get hurt worse, will gladly vote to hurt themselves.

    That was the whole, very successful, point of the Jim Crow laws. Like MLK said, if you can teach a white man to feast on Jim Crow he will ignore the fact that he's starving.
    posted by sotonohito at 8:29 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    i'm still trying to figure out how destroying their own constituency is going to work out for the republican party - a constituency that is well-armed and perhaps more inclined to actually rebel than any other

    The unspoken basis of modern conservatism is that it's better for 99 people to not get something they need than for 1 person to get it who doesn't need it, and they know that those people will find a way to cheat the system. They will literally smile on their deathbeds at the idea that at least those people aren't "getting away with it" anymore.
    posted by Etrigan at 8:30 AM on June 22 [15 favorites]


    > No, they'll be convinced that it was all the fault of Obama/Democrats/socialists/etc and that will be that.

    Years from Now, This Will be the Right-Wing Narrative of the Trumpcare Disaster
    Even though the Senate bill would "effectively delay repeal of Obamacare until 2020," as Bloomberg puts it, most observers think Republicans will be blamed for any chaos in the health care system between now and whenever Obamacare starts winding down -- insurance companies will rush for the exits, policies will be unavailable or staggeringly expensive, and because we will have all seen the final passage of the bill and the big signing ceremony involving the president, we'll all agree that the GOP owns the results.

    I'm not so sure. I think Republicans will still blame the bad outcome on Democrats.

    In his pseudo-campaign rally last night in Cedar Rapids, we heard this from the president:
    “If we went and got the single greatest health care plan in the history of the world, we would not get one Democrat vote, because they’re obstructionists,” Trump said. “If we came to you and said, ‘Here’s your plan, you’re going to have the greatest plan in history, and you’re going to pay nothing,’ they’d vote against it, folks.” ... “If we had even a little Democrat support, just a little, like a couple of votes, you’d have everything. And you could give us a lot of votes and we’d even be willing to change it and move it around and try and make it even better,” Trump said. “But again, They just want to stop, they just want to obstruct. A few votes from the Democrats, seriously, a few votes from the Democrats, it could be so easy and so beautiful, and you’d have cooperation.”
    That's going to be the right-wing narrative of our upcoming health care disaster: We Republicans passed a bad bill because Democrats forced us to. They just wanted to be the Party of No, so they refused to help make it better. Therefore, every bad consequence of what we did is their fault. [...]

    The majority of Republican voters will actually fall for this. I hope very few other voters do.
    posted by tonycpsu at 8:32 AM on June 22 [46 favorites]




    The worst part of this is that the ACA itself was dragged to the right by obstructionism from both Republicans and conservative Democrats like Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and Blanche Lincoln, leading to many of its most spectacular failures, such as the ability for governors to block Medicaid expansion. So Republicans get to have it both ways -- they were able to neuter the impact of the original bill and keep it from succeeding without supplying a single vote for its passage, and now they get to blame Democrats when their attempt to kill it inevitably causes immense harm to people.
    posted by tonycpsu at 8:37 AM on June 22 [18 favorites]


    Meanwhile, back on the Russia/Trump scandal front, Intel chiefs tell investigators Trump suggested they refute collusion with Russians:
    "Two of the nation's top intelligence officials told Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team and Senate investigators, in separate meetings last week, that President Donald Trump suggested they say publicly there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians, according to multiple sources.

    "Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers described their interactions with the President about the Russia investigation as odd and uncomfortable, but said they did not believe the President gave them orders to interfere, according to multiple sources familiar with their accounts."
    Trump already went on Twitter early this morning to mischaracterize Jeh Johnson's House testimony yesterday - "Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia." - so one wonders how he'll react to this.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 8:41 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    "But again, They just want to stop, they just want to obstruct. A few votes from the Democrats, seriously, a few votes from the Democrats, it could be so easy and so beautiful, and you’d have cooperation"

    "If the Coalition Against Feline-Initiated Facial Consumption would be willing to give us a just give us a few votes, we could actually work together and make things better for people. But they just want to obstruct!" - Leopards Eating People's Faces Party Chairman
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:41 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    As for blaming the Democrats, of course they will.

    And they get a double bind sort of thing going. If zero Democrats vote for RepubliCare then anything bad is the fault of the Democrats for failing to fix it. If **ANY** Democrats at all vote for RepubliCare than anything bad is the fact that the Democrats poisoned it.

    Either way, the Republicans will put all the blame on the Democrats.

    I also am amazed that Trump is successfully selling the idea that somehow it's up to the Democrats to fix his bill. WTF?

    "If we had even a little Democrat support, just a little, like a couple of votes, you’d have everything."

    Apparently, to the Republican voters, it is perfectly rational to believe that a) Republicans are innately superior to Democrats in all ways, and b) when the Republicans have a full majority they will pass horrible laws unless the Democrats help out.

    WTF?

    Are the Republican voters literally unaware that they have a majority in both houses of Congress and that they can pass absolutely anything they want to? Or is it just deflection, doublethink, and reflexive blaming the Democrats even in the face of their own party utterly and completely fucking up?
    posted by sotonohito at 8:42 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    As for blaming the Democrats, of course they will.

    Remember when the AHCA vote was pulled at the last moment and Trump blamed the Democrats who wouldn't vote for it, as opposed to the, um, Republicans who wouldn't for it? Good times.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:43 AM on June 22 [16 favorites]


    Good breakdown of bill in Andy Slavit's Twitter.

    The Senate discussion bill is out. It's the ugly step-sibling of the House bill.

    Analysis to follow shortly. Follow if interested. 1

    Here is the bill: https://www.budget.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SENATEHEALTHCARE.pdf …
    2

    Point 1: The ACA is not repealed. Health care for poor people, kids, the disability community and seniors is. 3

    The ACA income based tax credits stay-- due to Senate rules. They just get bulldozed. More accurately, the people receiving the help do. 4

    What's a conservative to do? They hate the tax credits. But they do demolish what an insurance company needs to do. Which they love. 5

    Older people will be charged much more. Ppl over 350% of poverty won't get any support. Insurance will only cover 58% of someone's needs.6

    Millions of families lose coverage. Those with insurance will get a lot less. Maternity, mental health, cancer treatments, not required.7

    Insurers won't cover expensive HIV & cancer meds if they are the only ones. Coverage will devolve. That's the point, not a side effect.8

    POINT 2: The main event in the Senate bill is the destruction of Medicaid. Far, far worse than even the House bill.9

    Eligibility for exchanges would begin at 0% of FPL. This means states could eliminate Medicaid & put people in the exchange w no help.10

    Medicaid's cuts of 25% in the House increase much more in the Senate. Hundreds of billions more cuts.11

    Medicaid cuts spike further in 2025. The year baby boomers turn 80. And Medicaid pays half of nursing home care in the country.12


    There's more at the link
    posted by emjaybee at 8:43 AM on June 22 [21 favorites]


    The majority of Republican voters will actually fall for this. I hope very few other voters do.

    Meh. The social science is pretty clear on this: voters in general have very very short attention spans and are extremely amnesiac. If they are unhappy with their lot in life on the day they vote they blame whoever is in power, no matter who they try to blame it on, or who is actually to blame. The GOP can say whatever it wants but if there's a GOP president when everyone loses their healthcare, and if that damage is within the say 6 month timeframe of electoral memory, this will negatively impact them, no matter what the rhetoric is. (my recent reading of this book is my source here). This is not to say that the tribal GOP voters who vote that way because it's part of their group identity will change, but the % of the electorate that is actually swingable will not be convinced by that kind of rhetoric because they won't even know that they've heard it, or what it means or what it's referring to, or whether it reflects reality. They'll just feel the pain of the policy and vote against the bastards in power.
    posted by dis_integration at 8:44 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    Despicable Coward Pat Toomey's Pittsburgh office voicemail is full, which is a good sign I guess. Either everyone's calling or they've set the phones to ignore constituents since they're scared of what they'll hear from them. Was able to leave a voice mail for the DC office, but who knows if that's getting any attention whatsoever.
    posted by tonycpsu at 8:44 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Unfortunately the question at this point isn't whether the majority of self-identified Republicans can be convinced that they lost health care because of Democrats/minorities, but whether 60%, 75% or 90% can. Believe it or not, though, if it's toward the lower end of that spectrum then the GOP is doomed. That's where messaging becomes important.
    posted by Rust Moranis at 8:44 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    >The social science is pretty clear on this

    Achen and Bartels are pretty clear on this, but there's a lot of criticism of their work (as there normally is when big name scholars make big arguments). In short, there isn't a consensus.
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:49 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    'm still trying to figure out how destroying their own constituency is going to work out for the republican party - a constituency that is well-armed and perhaps more inclined to actually rebel than any other

    are they insane?


    Thinking about Brownback's "Kansas experiment," I conceived the idea that their goal is to literally render Kansas uninhabitable and drive out everyone but the few necessary to work their mega-farms. They are dealing with unemployment not by creating jobs, but by forcing people to leave.
    posted by SPrintF at 8:52 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    From the article tonycpsu posted above:
    I think McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other elected Republicans will brazenly argue that Democrats have some nerve complaining about the outcome when they announced an effective boycott of the process from the beginning.
    And right on cue, here's McConnell on the floor of the Senate half an hour ago: "I regret that our Democratic friends made clear early on they did not want to work with us". He's also tasking the Capitol Police with dragging protesters away from his office for daring to complain.

    Meanwhile, more horrors are coming out: any existing Medicaid expansions will not apply to pregnant women, states will be allowed to introduce work requirements (another shiny bit to assuage libertarian guilt), and also allows states to deny essential health benefits.
    posted by zombieflanders at 8:54 AM on June 22 [28 favorites]


    Called my slimebag Senators, couldn't get through to their local or DC offices and had to leave messages, which was encouraging. Call yours, if you haven't already.
    posted by emjaybee at 8:57 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    Time, Massimo Calabresi: Election Hackers Altered Voter Rolls, Stole Private Data, Officials Say
    The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell TIME.

    In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified, two sources familiar with the matter tell TIME. Investigators have not identified whether the hackers in that case were Russian agents.
    I think this is new; have there been any other prior reports that anyone actually altered voter data (even if it was 'rectified')?
    posted by cjelli at 8:58 AM on June 22 [36 favorites]


    libertarian guilt

    does this even exist
    posted by murphy slaw at 8:58 AM on June 22 [26 favorites]


    The guilt is over supporting a bill that doesn't explicitly require poor people to die in the street.
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:59 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    i'm still trying to figure out how destroying their own constituency is going to work out for the republican party - a constituency that is well-armed and perhaps more inclined to actually rebel than any other

    Why Republicans are so intent to pass a bill that in a normal world should spell their doom.
    The grounds for political combat seem to have changed as well. If recent special elections are any indication—where GOP candidates refused to comment on signature GOP policies—extreme polarization means Republicans can mobilize supporters without being forced to talk about or account for their actual actions. Identity, for many voters, matters more than their pocketbooks. Republicans simply need to signal their disdain—even hatred—for their opponents, political or otherwise. Why worry about the consequences of your policies when you can preclude defeat by changing the ground rules of elections, spending vast sums, and stoking cultural resentment?

    It seems, then, that we have an answer for Republicans insist on moving forward with the American Health Care Act. Because they can. And who is going to stop them?


    They don't fear elections because nothing they can do will make their constituents turn on them while there are Democrats still in the world to blame. It's tribal, and Republicans care more about their identification than their own lives or the lives of their children. They care more about liberal tears than the very survival of the human race.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 9:01 AM on June 22 [19 favorites]


    And right on cue, here's McConnell on the floor of the Senate half an hour ago: "I regret that our Democratic friends made clear early on they did not want to work with us".

    It's infuriating when they make it so clear that they think we're dumb and not paying any attention.

    It's also infuriating that they are right (as it applies to enough voters to keep them in power).
    posted by diogenes at 9:01 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    My state has election-day voter registration. It works. With the risk of hackers destroying voter rolls, it's an essential policy in order to protect people's right to vote. Of course, many Republicans oppose the policy because they are more interested in discouraging the wrong kind of votes than in the principles of democracy itself.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:01 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    Daniel Drezner, WaPo: The good, the bad and the ugly aspects of Thucydides in the Trump administration
    This is hardly the first time a White House has discovered the history of the Peloponnesian War. The reason this text is used so much in international relations courses is because some aspects of the war between Athens and Sparta usually resonates with current foreign policy dilemmas. Of course, the problem is that sometimes readers take away the wrong lessons from the text.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:03 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified

    I think this is new; have there been any other prior reports that anyone actually altered voter data

    Yikes! I don't think we've heard about altered data before this.

    I'm less than 100% confident that we successfully caught and rectified every other instance of alterations.
    posted by diogenes at 9:05 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Remember when Trump promised he was going to launch a probe into election fraud? Kinda wish he'd hurry up with that...
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:07 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    The image at the top of this LGM post about the Senate bill is a pretty good tl;dr for the GOP's entire ACA repeal effort.
    posted by tonycpsu at 9:07 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    Are the Republican voters literally unaware that they have a majority in both houses of Congress and that they can pass absolutely anything they want to?

    Well, but they really can't. They can only pass reconciliation bills by bare majorities. Anything that costs money needs 60 votes, and the Dems are hardly going to give the extra votes to them.

    Thus, I suspect the paucity of the ACHA is partially from necessity, and partially because the post-ACHA landscape, if it succeeds, will put a lot of pressure on Dems to "fix it", thus peeling off vulnerable Dems to vote for a more populist bill that favors rural areas over cities, but is still better than the ACHA. And that's why R senators are being persuaded to vote for it regardless of what's in it, because they don't expect it to last.
    posted by corb at 9:13 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    Wow, this is quite startling. @maggieNYT Audio is now permissible from today's briefing, per pool
    posted by scalefree at 9:15 AM on June 22


    Or they can just coast through whatever election cycles remain on gerrymandering and racism until democracy dies (figuratively) or the non-rich die (literally).
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:15 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    If the Coalition Against Feline-Initiated Facial Consumption would be willing to give us a just give us a few votes, we could actually work together and make things better for people. But they just want to obstruct!" - Leopards Eating People's Faces Party Chairman

    Clearly that should be the Coalition Opposing Vicious Face-Eating Feline Endeavors.
    posted by delfin at 9:17 AM on June 22 [45 favorites]


    Thus, I suspect the paucity of the ACHA is partially from necessity blah blah blah

    Utter bullshit. The bill is pure fucking evil, and letting them try to paper over that fact is no better.
    posted by zombieflanders at 9:17 AM on June 22 [17 favorites]


    It would be great to have a fully-fledged non-reconciliation healthcare bill that can get 60 votes in the Senate. Such a bill would be able to win the votes of at least eight Democrats. It would maintain the core principles of the ACA, which Republicans have spent a decade condemning as a catastrophic evil. It is completely impossible.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:17 AM on June 22


    Clearly that should be the Coalition Opposing Vicious Face-Eating Feline Endeavors.

    I experimented with something along those lines but I gave up. Thank you.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:18 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    Let's not forget Republicans also don't fear election consequences because they've managed to pervert democracy into a situation where they can win absolute majority control without winning a majority of votes on any level. And where they're happy to accept and actively court the interference of hostile forgiven agents to maintain that system.

    They don't fear consequences because they don't ever intend to face them, they will change the rules, cheat, and commit treason to avoid doing so, while being cheered for it by their constituents and the media.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 9:21 AM on June 22 [30 favorites]


    Whip count here:

    Amber Phillips, Reuben Fischer-Baum, Kevin Schaul, and Kevin Uhrmacher, WaPo: Which GOP senators have concerns with the health-care bill
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:21 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Well, but they really can't. They can only pass reconciliation bills by bare majorities. Anything that costs money needs 60 votes, and the Dems are hardly going to give the extra votes to them. Thus, I suspect the paucity of the ACHA is partially from necessity,

    This is bullshit.

    The paucity of the AHCA is because Republicans are cutting $1 trillion of taxes on the rich and the only way to pay for that is by cutting Medicaid. It's not because of the limitations of reconciliation. If the Republicans had 60 votes, the AHCA would be even worse, not better.
    posted by JackFlash at 9:23 AM on June 22 [38 favorites]


    If they had 60 votes Republicans would end Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security entirely and redirect every dollar to the rich. If anyone doesn't believe that I would question what the fuck country you've been watching for the past 20 years.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 9:26 AM on June 22 [38 favorites]


    And that's why R senators are being persuaded to vote for it regardless of what's in it, because they don't expect it to last.

    Heck, if that's the case why not take some time to work with Democrats on a bill that doesn't need fixing in the first place? You know, hold hearings, floor debate, work on amendments, all that stuff a deliberating body is supposed to do. I mean, I know the actual answer, but what's your answer?
    posted by schoolgirl report at 9:26 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    i'm afraid all the GOP senators with 'concerns' will all get a little amendment for them so they can say they 'made it better' then vote for it to gut coverage for millions
    posted by localhuman at 9:26 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    Which GOP senators have concerns with the health-care bill

    Excuse me but why is Pat Toomey on there highlighted in red as "having concerns"? HE WAS IN THE FUCKING SECRET CABAL. HE WROTE THIS THING.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 9:26 AM on June 22 [25 favorites]


    Thus, I suspect the paucity of the ACHA is partially from necessity

    But this so-called "necessity" is paying for a tax cut for the rich, which is not a necessity, it's a choice. An evil choice, and the price is the lives and health of other, less advantaged Americans. While it routinely falls to Democrats to clean up Republican messes, it hardly gives Republicans a pass to vote for this steaming pile with the expectation that Democrats will do the actual work of passing decent legislation later on.

    WaPo: Which GOP senators have concerns with the health-care bill

    Oh, please. Joshua Marshall points out that Republican moderates always cave. Show me one -- or better yet, three -- willing to go on record as voting against this monstrosity and I may be impressed. Not now.
    posted by Gelatin at 9:27 AM on June 22 [17 favorites]


    If they had 60 votes Republicans would end Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security entirely and redirect every dollar to the rich. If anyone doesn't believe that I would question what the fuck country you've been watching for the past 20 years.

    Also welfare, food stamps, unemployment programs, environmental protections and basically everything else except military spending and their own salaries.
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:27 AM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    @BraddJaffy: Police drag away protesters, some in wheelchairs, chanting “no cuts to Medicaid!” outside Mitch McConnell's office

    Any Democrat who doesn't use this imagery in 2018 should be prevented from making it past the primaries.
    posted by zombieflanders at 9:28 AM on June 22 [84 favorites]


    Jordan Weissmann, Slate Moneybox: Here Are the Six Lines of Text That Could Decimate America’s Biggest Health Care Program

    We are talking about a difference of hundreds of billions of dollars over time. Medicaid is America's largest health insurance program by enrollment. It covers 62 million Americans—almost as many as Medicare and the entire individual market combined. It helps the poor, the disabled, the elderly, and—thanks to Obamacare's expansion of it, which Republicans would roll back—many working-class families. As the New York Times recently noted, it insures about half of all births and 40 percent of children. It is indispensible, and Senate Republicans are planning to throttle it.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:28 AM on June 22 [31 favorites]


    And right on cue, here's McConnell on the floor of the Senate half an hour ago: "I regret that our Democratic friends made clear early on they did not want to work with us".

    In a reality unlike our own, the media would present the many, many examples of McConnell shutting out not only the Democrats but also most of his own party from the process, roll footage of Democratic senators on scavenger hunts looking for the debate rooms for this, then ask him to either retract his statement and shove his own face into the nearest ashtray, or say "Senator, please finish your sentence, as you left out 'by completely surrendering to 100% of our wishes on this,' you goggle-eyed fuckbasket."
    posted by delfin at 9:31 AM on June 22 [28 favorites]


    Show me one -- or better yet, three -- willing to go on record as voting against this monstrosity

    They don't even have to vote on the bill! They can vote against holding a vote on it! They can demand hearings first! They could even leave the GOP and change to independent! They could resign!

    Every Republican has had and continues to have multiple choices here. They are consistently selecting the most cowardly, evil, and destructive choice available.
    posted by melissasaurus at 9:33 AM on June 22 [66 favorites]


    Ezra Klein: The Senate GOP health bill in one sentence: poor people pay more for worse insurance.
    There are a lot of moving parts in the health bill Senate Republicans just released, but the bigger picture is straightforward. Health care expert Larry Levitt condensed it to fewer than 140 characters:
    Under the Senate bill, low-income people would pay higher premiums for bigger deductibles.
    That’s it. That’s what this bill does. In fact, it does it over and over again. Policy after policy in the bill is built to achieve the same goal: making poor people pay more for less health insurance. [...]

    The Senate GOP’s health plan changes that structure in a few ways. First, it resets the benchmark plan to one that only covers 58 percent of expected health costs. Under Obamacare, the sparest plan that insurers can generally offer at all has to cover at least 60 percent of expected health costs — so the plans subsidized by the GOP bill won’t just have higher deductibles and less coverage than the plans at the center of the ACA; they’ll have higher deductibles and less coverage than the plans at the bottom of the ACA. [...]

    Reading the bill, I keep thinking about what Sen. Mitch McConnell said about the Affordable Care Act in January:
    MCCONNELL: Well, what you need to understand is that there are 25 million Americans who aren’t covered now. If the idea behind Obamacare was to get everyone covered, that’s one of the many failures. In addition to premiums going up, copayments going up, deductibles going up. And many Americans who actually did get insurance when they did not have it before have really bad insurance that they have to pay for, and the deductibles are so high that it’s really not worth much to them. So it is chaotic. The status quo is simply unacceptable.
    McConnell was right in every criticism he made of the ACA. Then he turned around and wrote a bill that made every single problem he identified worse.
    posted by tonycpsu at 9:33 AM on June 22 [34 favorites]


    They don't even have to vote on the bill! They can vote against holding a vote on it! They can demand hearings first!

    One of the astonishing things to me about this entire process is that members of Congress are supposed to be protective of their own prerogatives. By drafting the bill in secret -- not "private," NPR; secret is true and accurate even if it's also an uncomfortable word for Republicans -- McConnell usurped the power of various Republican committee chairs and members.

    It's one thing for a Republican Congress to act with bizarre deference to the Executive Branch, but the entire legislative process of this bill stinks on ice. Do Republican Senators really want their own beer party at the White House so badly?
    posted by Gelatin at 9:37 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    McConnell was right in every criticism he made of the ACA. Then he turned around and wrote a bill that made every single problem he identified worse.

    It's also worth noting that inasmuch as McConnell is right, it's because Republicans have refused to consider any improvements or even routine fixes to the ACA. If they truly are, as corb speculated, expecting Democrats to step up and pass a measure to mitigate the Republican atrocity, their cynicism is even more profound than I had imagined.
    posted by Gelatin at 9:41 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    CBO score on the Senate bill due 'early next week,' per CBO (no additional details).
    posted by cjelli at 9:41 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    They want tax cuts for the rich that badly. They're willing to give up everything, their dignity, their legislative powers, the Constitution itself, even the very sovereignty of the United States, for tax cuts. That's the only thing that matters.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 9:41 AM on June 22 [39 favorites]


    They want tax cuts for the rich that badly. They're willing to give up everything, their dignity, their legislative powers, the Constitution itself, even the very sovereignty of the United States, for tax cuts. That's the only thing that matters.

    Which means the wealthy have far too much power in this country. It may be some time before Democrats are in a legislative position to do so, but it's clear they need to go beyond the levels of Bill Clinton's tax increase, on income, capital gains, estate inheritances, and anything else they can think of.
    posted by Gelatin at 9:45 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    There are no good republicans. I know that reflects poorly on me, but just look at the specious reasoning even "good" republicans give yo this bs.
    posted by maxwelton at 9:47 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    They want tax cuts for the rich that badly. They're willing to give up everything, their dignity, their legislative powers, the Constitution itself, even the very sovereignty of the United States, for tax cuts. That's the only thing that matters.

    And to make it worse, taxes aren't even that high here.
    posted by melissasaurus at 9:48 AM on June 22 [31 favorites]


    They can only pass reconciliation bills by bare majorities. Anything that costs money needs 60 votes, and the Dems are hardly going to give the extra votes to them.

    There's a lot of dark talk about McConnell trying a power play to bypass the parliamentarian & reconcile with 51 votes. Which in a season of horrors would unleash a new level of horror on us all, but that's the talk.
    posted by scalefree at 9:48 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    One of the reasons Dems are kind of trying to play things close to the chest and not go guns-a-blazin' immediately is they are trying to prevent McConnell from invoking parliamentary fuckery the instant he gets wind they're about to use procedural grounds to slow or stop this.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 9:49 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    As the New York Times recently noted, it insures about half of all births and 40 percent of children. It is indispensible, and Senate Republicans are planning to throttle it.

    Having taken placement of a newborn last week, I've been trying to decide how wildly inappropriate it would be to drop a suggestion in the local foster parent support group on Facebook for people call their Senators and ask why they're messing around with our kids' medical coverage.

    Short of playing dumb and saying "Gee whiz, can you imagine? I'm gonna get to the bottom of this and I hope you all join me in helping our senators correct this oversight of accidentally breaking Medicaid" I'm struggling to find a way that wouldn't just be tossing a grenade into a non-political group, but this should be a legitimate concern.

    Sigh.
    posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:50 AM on June 22 [20 favorites]


    @mikedebonis
    Defiant Pelosi: 'I feel very confident in the support that I have in my caucus.'

    - More Pelosi: 'I love the arena. I thrive on competition, and I welcome the discussion.'

    - More Pelosi: 'I don't think any party should allow the opposite party to choose its leaders.'

    - The only Pelosi quote you need: 'I think I'm worth the trouble, quite frankly.'
    posted by chris24 at 9:51 AM on June 22 [83 favorites]


    The Hill: SCOTUS unanimously limits government's ability to strip citizenship from immigrants
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:52 AM on June 22 [72 favorites]




    > Short of playing dumb and saying "Gee whiz, can you imagine? I'm gonna get to the bottom of this and I hope you all join me in helping our senators correct this oversight of accidentally breaking Medicaid" I'm struggling to find a way that wouldn't just be tossing a grenade into a non-political group, but this should be a legitimate concern.

    Thought 1: Toss the grenade. toss the grenade toss the grenade toss the grenade.
    Thought 2: There's no such thing as a non-political group. there are groups that don't admit how they're political, but there are no non-political groups.
    Thought 3: You know who might be good at figuring out how to finesse your intervention in order to maximize its efficacy? Corb would be good at that, I bet. (I don't exactly know her position on the AHCA fight. apologies, corb, if I've misread your politics.)
    posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:57 AM on June 22 [20 favorites]


    This is a win for law being interpreted as if by humans, not by a robot in a cautionary Asimov short story
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:57 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    He made up the tapes. (no shit, right? but he's saying it now)

    @realDonaldTrump
    With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea......whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.
    posted by Rust Moranis at 9:57 AM on June 22 [40 favorites]


    This is the case in which the DoJ's lawyer argued that the Federal Government would have the right to revoke citizenship from an immigrant who had once driven 1mph over the limit and not turned themselves in.

    Perhaps, but the SCOTUS agreed to hear it, so hopefully it had a little more merit than that.
    posted by Melismata at 10:00 AM on June 22


    Pretty sure it's the case deciding whether lying on your naturalization application is grounds for revoking citizenship after the fact.
    posted by FakeFreyja at 10:00 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    @realDonaldTrump
    With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea......whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.


    I just used the possibility to try to intimidate a witness.
    posted by chris24 at 10:00 AM on June 22 [113 favorites]


    Heck, if that's the case why not take some time to work with Democrats on a bill that doesn't need fixing in the first place?

    So there's a couple things here kind of packed together, and I think it's important to unpack them. I may be wrong, of course, but these are the factors I /think/ are operating right now - not the things I personally would do if I were in power but the things I think they are looking at now.

    The first is, what would that look like? In the current climate, what would have to be added to the health care bill in order to get Democrats to cross the aisle? To cross Resistance activists and their own party leadership, what would it take to get 6 Democratic votes, without losing Republican ones? I honestly can't think of anything that Dems would like better than preserving the existing ACA and fighting Trump enough to make that cross - can you?

    The second is that the sort of bill that could ideologically work for the Republicans can never work for the Democrats. The core problem with the ACA, from an ideological level, was never the premiums: it was the idea of forcing people to buy health insurance when they didn't want to, and taxing the rich to pay for the poor. That's the entirety of how the Dems funded the ACA, right there, and both of them are hard ideological lines. I don't think Dems always understand this, they think "should we tax the rich to pay for the poor" is a settled question because we've had progressive taxes for 70+ years. But ideologically, it's really not. And when Rs and Ds are coming from essentially 70 years apart, you can't really have meaningful ideological compromise. The Ds can't say "yeah, you're right, let's fund even the most amazing program from cuts to other programs rather than taxes", because taxing the wealthy to pay for the needs of the poor has been a major part of campaign rhetoric since 2011 at the very least. The Rs can't say "yeah, let's tax the rich to pay for it" because that would be ceding major ground to the Ds, and they can't raise taxes across the board without the practical concerns of vulgar Republicans feeling betrayed.

    The third is that from a brute cynicism practical level, the needs of Dems and the needs of the vulgar Republicans that elected Trump and are riding high right now are very different. I've talked before about how Trump's only power lies in rural and suburban populism, while Dems' power is in the cities. The only generous bill I could see the most passing and getting the Trump voters' support is one that takes from cities and gives to rural areas. For Dems to sign onto something like that, they would be betraying their core constituencies. But in the current climate, Rs can't take back home something that benefits the cities over the rural areas - or rather, they could, but they'd get primaried from the right.

    So the tl;dr I suppose is because our system is now made up of people too far apart to cooperate any more - in many cases for good reasons because they would lose real things.
    posted by corb at 10:01 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    My experience watching the internet explode over DeVos is that the SOMEONE THINK OF THE [MINE, SPECIFICALLY] CHILDREN is super effective. All of Trump's cabinet picks were horrorshows but all kinds of people who don't normally pay any attention to politics and especially not politics at the level of cabinet appointments WENT APESHIT about DeVos, because she directly threatened their own kids' schools. (And people in rural areas rely on public schools, just the same as they rely on the local hospital being there.)


    tl;dr: do it, NSAID
    posted by soren_lorensen at 10:01 AM on June 22 [22 favorites]


    Good for you, Nancy Pelosi! Stand firm. #ShePersisted

    I think Pelosi knows that jettisoning her would do exactly jack and shit to endear the Democrats to Republicans or the mythical "swing voter" who doesn't really exist anymore.

    NSAID: I think that you should go ahead and lob the healthcare for kids grenade. It might do some good. I doubt any foster parent would want to come right out and say, "the hell with our kids, I want tax cuts for the rich!"
    posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:02 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Maybe he made tapes, and then forgot that he made them because of his degenerative brain disorder, and then told what he thought was a lie to intimidate a witness and obstruct justice, and now he's forgotten he said that again.
    posted by Faint of Butt at 10:02 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    If we had even a little Democrat support, just a little, like a couple of votes, you’d have everything.

    "They call themselves the Democratic Party. Let's just call people what they call themselves and stop the Mickey Mouse here." -- Chris Matthews
    posted by kirkaracha at 10:02 AM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    LA Times: [Maslenjak] initially told immigration officials her husband had not served in the Bosnian Serb military. That was a lie, she later conceded, and lower courts upheld a criminal conviction against her. The conviction automatically revoked her citizenship, and she and her husband were deported in October.

    The point is that the lie she told was irrelevant as to the question of whether she personally should qualify for US citizenship. The government argued that it showed she lacked moral character and they should be able to revoke her citizenship on that basis. The court unanimously disagreed.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:04 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    I don't exactly know her position on the AHCA fight. apologies, corb, if I've misread your politics.

    My position is currently "fuck Vichy Republicans", so I will cheerfully with a smile on my face assist in defeating any and all Vichy Republican attempts until the fucking fascists are gone and we can reassess the situation. Anyone here is welcome to memail me for any help with messaging for anything. Because I think I understand what the Vichy Republicans are doing does not mean I approve.
    posted by corb at 10:04 AM on June 22 [41 favorites]


    All the cool people were talking about his conversations with Comey and he wanted to be part of the cool people discussion so he was just "MAYBE I GOT TAPES" and that was it
    posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:06 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    corb, I'm curious whether there are elected Republicans you strongly support?
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:06 AM on June 22


    He made up the tapes. (no shit, right? but he's saying it now)

    Either that or they've destroyed them. Or think they've destroyed them.

    Odds are he was lying about having the tapes in the first place, sure, but Trump's credibility is not exactly high right now -- especially since we have to accept he was either lying then or lying now. There isn't a scenario here where he's consistently told the truth. And on top of that, it's taken him how long to put out this clarifying statement?
    posted by cjelli at 10:07 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    The Ds can't say "yeah, you're right, let's fund even the most amazing program from cuts to other programs rather than taxes"

    Sure they can. Military spending is half the Federal budget. Take some money out of that bucket -- scrap the F-35 boondoggle, for example -- and hey presto, it's done.

    Your comment implies that Democrats want to tax the rich as an end in itself. I've seen no evidence that any such thing is true.

    But it should be.
    posted by Gelatin at 10:07 AM on June 22 [24 favorites]


    > My position is currently "fuck Vichy Republicans", so I will cheerfully with a smile on my face assist in defeating any and all Vichy Republican attempts until the fucking fascists are gone and we can reassess the situation.

    aw yeah. now I wanna apologize for the waffling. I knew you didn't like the ACA overmuch but I shouldn't have let that make me think you would approve of anything the fuckers were doing.

    a while back someone posted "when do we man the barricades?" right now one of my main answers to that question is "when corb says to."
    posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:07 AM on June 22 [15 favorites]


    You can really be bipartisan when one party believes that taxation is theft and the other believes that taxation is absolutely necessary.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 10:08 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    I don't always align with Pelosi on the issues, but goddamn she has kept the Democratic Minority in fucking line through some very difficult times - lockstep opposition to the horrors and calamities the GOP wants to bestow upon the country. She is exactly who we need in the position at this time. Chuck is a different story.

    The DNC and DCC top spots need some new faces, too.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 10:09 AM on June 22 [22 favorites]


    You can really be bipartisan when one party believes that taxation is theft and the other believes that taxation is absolutely necessary.

    Thomas freakin' Hobbes was no one's liberal, and he believed that taxation was absolutely necessary.
    posted by Gelatin at 10:10 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    I'm talking about the two parties, not political philosophies.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 10:11 AM on June 22


    Matt Yglesias, Vox: This is the biggest pure giveaway to the rich in the Republican health bill: An incentive for time-traveling job creators.
    The single biggest tax cut of the bunch applies exclusively to individuals earning more than $200,000 a year or married couples with combined incomes of more than $250,000. It’s a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income (basically capital gains or dividends) that applies only if your total income is over those threshold points.

    But not only does the bill repeal that tax, it repeals it retroactively, to give rich families a tax break on investment income accrued earlier this year as well as investment income going forward. [...]

    The key thing here is that there’s absolutely no reason to think a retroactive tax cut will boost job creation and growth. You’re essentially increasing people’s incentives to travel back in time and create jobs earlier in the year. Or, rather, you’re not increasing anyone’s incentive to do anything. You’re just shoveling money into the pockets of the least needy families in the country.
    posted by tonycpsu at 10:12 AM on June 22 [71 favorites]


    Also, let's be clear: Trump isn't saying that there aren't tapes, which is half a story in itself:

    With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea......whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.


    "I did not make" any tapes : did Trump order someone else to record conversations?
    "[I] do not have" : did Trump previously have recordings? Were they destroyed? Does someone else have recordings?

    Probably, yes, he was just making stuff up before, and this is just further blather, but the last person I'm inclined to trust on this issue is Trump himself.

    Beyond that, he's also blaming the existence of any tapes that might exist on some nebulous conspiracy -- that perhaps someone taped him, doubling down, implicitly, on Trump's earlier allegations (not that long ago) that Obama 'had him wiretapped,' an accusation that Trump has yet (I think) to recant, apologize for, or offer evidence in support of.
    posted by cjelli at 10:14 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    It's low on the scale of awful things about the bill, but I still can't get over the switch to 350% of the federal poverty level for the tax credits. One of the main Republican criticisms of Obamacare was that it didn't do enough for the working class. It was never particularly an honest criticism, and the ACA did a ton for the working class (and having a safety net beneath you is worth something too), but legitimately, there were some people who were doing comparatively well, but living in high cost areas, who were having trouble. There was some vague talk about smoothing out the cliff at 400% FPL for them. Instead, the Republicans just slammed the threshold down to $350%, which cuts off even more of the ostensibly middle class; they'll see a premium hike of thousands of dollars and receive no subsidy.

    When I rant about whether voters are knowingly voting in their own self-interest, this is why.
    posted by zachlipton at 10:15 AM on June 22 [26 favorites]


    I'm talking about the two parties, not political philosophies

    Of course, but it's part of the intellectual degeneracy of the Republican Party that the notion that taxes are somehow fundamentally illegitimate is one of their driving concerns. Taxation is specifically empowered in the Constitution; it's flatly insane that the national discourse tolerates the "taxation is theft" concept, let alone from those who profess to be "constitutional originalists."
    posted by Gelatin at 10:15 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    He didn't make and doesn't have, that could be technically correct, but what about the Russians that had the closed off invite to the White House with their own media people?
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:16 AM on June 22


    there are groups that don't admit how they're political, but there are no non-political groups.

    Agreed, and that's why I haven't just walked away from this idea.


    SOMEONE THINK OF THE [MINE, SPECIFICALLY] CHILDREN is super effective.

    That's a great point. And to be fair, many foster parents here seem to lean progressive (even among evangelicals), so people might be more receptive to this than I'm imagining.

    Appreciate the thoughts all. Now I have to remember how to share information with people on Facebook where I can't link every other word like in a MeFi post! Uh, any suggestions for easy reading on the Senate bill and specifically Medicaid? WaPo has some great reporting on the bill today but they don't seem to have a short summary of what's going on.
    posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:17 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]




    NSAID you do good things for children so please don't risk your job. /Devil's advocate
    posted by spitbull at 10:35 AM on June 22


    John McCain's political career, summed up in two tweets

    Spoiler: he's voting for it.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 10:38 AM on June 22 [41 favorites]


    This was easy to overlook in the Senate bill. There were always provisions for the feds to issue waivers to states for certain Obamacare provisions, but it was limited by the fact that the Obama Administration wasn't going to let states completely screw people over with them, and by a couple of rules in the law. Those rules are gone (and we know how Tom Price feels about screwing people over). You used to need to get the state legislature on board for a waiver, that's gone, and HHS now has to approve them and can't revoke them for eight years.

    And the policy folks are starting to question whether the savings are even there, because removing the individual mandate will drive up premiums (sick people will get insurance as long as they possibly can afford it, some healthy people will drop coverage). Since the tax credits are still benchmarked to premium costs (that's something the House tried to undo, but the Senate isn't going there), higher premiums cost the government more. That's the price of "freedom," right?

    Another small but significantly change at the end of the bill is that the cost-sharing reduction subsides are gone. You know how Sean Spicer kept complaining about people who have insurance cards but can't afford to use them because of the deductibles and co-pays? This was the thing that reduced deductibles and co-pays for people making under 250% FPL. Gone.

    Sarah Binder: Yes, Mitch McConnell’s secretive lawmaking is really unusual — in these 4 ways (and has the side benefit of hoping Trump doesn't find out about it on the news and open his mouth)

    Richard Rubin/WSJ: Senate Health Bill Gives Huge Tax Cuts to Businesses, High-Income Households. Turns out some of the tax cuts are retroactive, so congrats, high income folks who sold stock earlier this year.
    The Senate’s health-care bill repeals hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes on businesses and high-income households and includes a retroactive cut in capital-gains taxes.

    The tax portions of the proposal, a draft of which was released on Thursday in advance of a possible vote next week, are very similar to the elements in the version the House passed last month. The plan operates like the 2010 Affordable Care Act in reverse. Instead of raising taxes to pay for expanded insurance coverage, it reduces coverage and cuts taxes.
    A health care protest is planed at DCA airport tonight from 5-7 as Senators fly home.
    posted by zachlipton at 10:41 AM on June 22 [35 favorites]


    McCain is a minor but important organ of the monster, functioning much like the dangling lure of an anglerfish: he draws and distracts all us hungry little shrimp with his faint but hopeful glow as the great jaws snap us up.
    posted by Rust Moranis at 10:43 AM on June 22 [17 favorites]


    CNN's source says there are three solid no votes including Paul, in which case the bill would fail.

    Um, don't stop calling your Senators though
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:53 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    Paul being a solid "no" presents a pitfall in that anything done to moderate the bill in order to bring Murkowski and Collins on board will only make him more angry that he can't buy your dying grandmother's hospital bed and have her arrested for trespassing.
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:55 AM on June 22 [23 favorites]


    Yes, but see Mitch McConnell’s health care bill is designed to win skeptical Republicans. There's no actual health policy baby in this bathwater, just tax cuts, so they can keep changing things to try to get the votes without regard for its actual effects on human lives. Paul very well may never get on board with anything that keeps the tax credits in any form, but others might, and McConnell can give out two passes and still get away with it.
    posted by zachlipton at 10:57 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    CNN's source says there are three solid no votes including Paul, in which case the bill would fail.

    Damned Democratic Senators and their obstructionism.
    posted by Rykey at 10:58 AM on June 22 [10 favorites]


    [Medicaid] is indispensible, and Senate Republicans are planning to throttle it.

    Look, that's just not accurate. They're planning to drown it in a bathtub.
    posted by nickmark at 10:59 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    Gelatin Your comment implies that Democrats want to tax the rich as an end in itself. I've seen no evidence that any such thing is true.

    Regrettably you are correct. I only wish the Democrats supported taxing the rich as an end in itself.

    I do favor taxing the rich as an end in itself. I'd especially like to see a massive estate tax to prevent the problem of multigenerational wealth transfer producing an aristocracy.

    Personal anecdote time. I know a person who is rich. Not Bill Gates rich, but rich as in multiple hundreds of millions of dollars. He's a nice person, I like him just fine. I'm friends with one of his children.

    And I am philosophically opposed to the fact that my friend, the rich kid, gets to coast through life amassing ever more money simply because money attracts more money and once you've got ten or fifteen million and an even semi-competent money manager you are virtually guaranteed to keep getting richer forever and ever.

    I don't say this because I dislike my rich friend. He's a great guy. And he's socially aware, politically active, and using his money for a variety of good causes.

    But I'm opposed to an aristocracy of wealth, and that's what inheritance of billions produces.

    I'd like to see a 90% or 99% tax rate on all inheritances over a few million dollars because I believe in meritocracy and a society of equals not aristocracy and a society of serfs and lords.

    So yeah, chalk me up for taxing the rich as an end in itself.
    posted by sotonohito at 10:59 AM on June 22 [69 favorites]


    Mitch McConnell is a Repulsive Piece of Shit
    The Republican Party in 2017: “please let us sign your death warrant in peace.”
    posted by tonycpsu at 10:59 AM on June 22 [44 favorites]




    Paul being a solid "no" presents a pitfall in that anything done to moderate the bill in order to bring Murkowski and Collins on board will only make him more angry that he can't buy your dying grandmother's hospital bed and have her arrested for trespassing.

    Right, so they're just going to make even worse to accommodate Rand, like they did in the House, since there is almost nothing they could do that would make the other 49 Republicans not vote for it.
    posted by Copronymus at 11:05 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    An additional tactic for opposing AHCA:

    Call your state governor and representatives, especially if they are Republicans/DINOs and stress that the bill will put a lot of pressure on state budgets - meaning that state taxes will likely have to increase ("I'm worried about state taxes going up after our state loses federal healthcare funds."). Are state-level GOPers really ok with having the choice of "deny healthcare to people or raise their taxes" punted off onto them by some DC bureaucrats? "Mitch McConnell wants to save his own job, and he's putting our [state budget/GOP control of the legislature/etc] on the line to do it." Call the state Republican Party too -- are they going to put the needs of DC Republican Elite Senators above the needs of those holding state-level seats?

    I haven't seen any evidence that GOP reps are swayed by humanitarian concerns. But they have shown ample evidence they can be swayed by greed and self interest.
    posted by melissasaurus at 11:08 AM on June 22 [26 favorites]


    Not A Debating Club
    These days we mostly refer to "bothsidesing" as the need to come up with a supposedly Equal and Opposite Bad thing a Democrat dude once in 1963 every time a Republican does something Bad. But a worse kind of bothsidesing is that Both Sides have serious lawmakers who just want what is best for the country but have ideological difference about how best to achieve that. So policy debates can be framed as "the free market" versus "big government."

    But Republicans don't think poor people should have health care. They think people who get sick should die if they can't pay for treatment. Sure it's "the free market" (to some degree, nothing in our health care system is really "the free market"), but only in the sense that if you can't pay you don't get to buy the product. Fair enough for Maseratis, but in this case the product is "living."
    posted by tonycpsu at 11:09 AM on June 22 [60 favorites]


    Um, don't stop calling your Senators though

    I cannot emphasize this strongly enough, and hope that every single person reading the megathread is calling both of their senators on the reg, Republican and Democrat.

    It's not just cathartic. It's not just satisfying. This bill is absolute shit, and would destroy basic democratic norms on the way to callously and well-tax-cuts-are-more-important murdering hundreds of thousands of living, feeling, thinking humans.

    Calling senators is, to me, the minimum action required of moral human beings on this. Minimum.
    posted by joyceanmachine at 11:11 AM on June 22 [18 favorites]


    Are state-level GOPers really ok with having the choice of "deny healthcare to people or raise their taxes" punted off onto them by some DC bureaucrats?

    They won't raise taxes, they'll still deny them health care and cut all that unnecessary un-Christian socialism like feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and helping the poor.
    posted by zombieflanders at 11:11 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    Calling my senators for blocking the AHCA is so weird, because I'm in MA, so it's basically "thanks for continuing to make Mitch McConnell's life miserable and doing everything possible to stop passing this utter travesty of a pure evil bill". I wish I could do more, but short of telling my parents to call Ron Johnston's office every day to yell at him, I don't know. (On the other hand, my dad told me he was so angry after the election he wrote a letter. Like, handwritten. So he might enjoy expressing his displeasure more frequently. I could possibly sell it to my mother as stress relief.)
    posted by ultranos at 11:12 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, generally praised the bill, and said it was better than Obamacare in "100 ways."

    SCREAMING
    posted by joyceanmachine at 11:13 AM on June 22 [18 favorites]


    The Week: 9 Trump promises the GOP's 'Better Care' act breaks

    I wish we could have nationwide ads on this. Trump promised the moon, and this bill should be explicitly tied to every one of his promises being broken.
    posted by zachlipton at 11:13 AM on June 22 [21 favorites]


    I keep hearing policy proposals coming from the GOP that will create massive incentives for rich people to sell off investments. Eventually all those sales are going to lead to a minor but sustained drop in the markets overall, that will in turn further incentivise people to sell their stocks right-the-fuck-now before it gets worse. "What if tax rates go back up and the market keeps dropping? Better sell now when I can maximize my own bottom line." will be the thinking and they'll be right.

    That could cause a more sustained drop which would lead to an outright recession that will likely pop some bubble we've been brewing. Maybe it'll be commercial real estate, maybe something else we won't see coming.

    I worry about the effects of that both on me and my community but also as Trump has previously state a preference for times of economic crisis and I worry that a recession would provide the fertile ground needed for him and the GOP to put democracy down for good.
    posted by VTX at 11:13 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    State-level Republicans may even be glad to have an outside boogeyman to blame in front of the rubes (that boogeyman will be Obamacare, Democrats whose obstructionism forced a "compromise" reconciliation bill, and even moderate GOP senators from out of state, not McConnell) while they destroy public education, housing, safety nets, etc., following the lead of Kansas and Oklahoma.
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:14 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Josh Marshall: Voting Rights Defeatism is Toxic
    posted by Chrysostom at 11:14 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    following the lead of Kansas and Oklahoma.

    Except that it's been acknowledged that Kansas was a huge failure and people are being voted out accordingly, no?
    posted by Melismata at 11:16 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    I mean, we're talking about the kind of people for whom the idea of the government providing even the basics of human rights--food, clean water, health, choosing a partner--is at best an academic exercise (although putting the rights of say, guns, above that is of course etched in stone). And that's just the ones largely considered to be "moderates."
    posted by zombieflanders at 11:16 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    CNN's source says there are three solid no votes including Paul, in which case the bill would fail.

    Up to four now, per the four themselves, who have put out a press statement: Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson.

    'Open to negotiation, but not ready to vote on this bill' -- they don't articulate any specific concerns except for the fact that it 'doesn't repeal the ACA,' which makes it unclear what, exactly, they want changed, as yet.

    I personally suspect this is more attention-getting than considered opposition, and they've certainly left a path open to making some minor cosmetic changes and then signing on. Which I what I suspect will happen.

    That this is coming from the more conservative/Tea Party end of the party suggests that they'll be able to pull together 51 votes -- if it isn't already bad enough for the more centrist Republicans to vote no, I can't imagine what change would be necessary to actually shift their positions; what concessions could Cruz, Paul, & co. exact that would make a difference if there wasn't opposition already?
    posted by cjelli at 11:16 AM on June 22 [24 favorites]


    Seconding ultranos above, I called Franken and Klobuchar's offices to voice support but, as much as I appreciate having the best Senators ever, it feels like not enough. So I'm pestering my WI friends to call Johnson's office :)
    posted by Bacon Bit at 11:17 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    The only concessions those four are looking for would be to make the bill even worse.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    Yeah, this is all just playacting.
    posted by Chrysostom at 11:20 AM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    If their objection is that it "doesn't repeal the ACA", then fixing it so that it does means they're down 7 votes instead because you can't pass a real ACA repeal through reconciliation.
    posted by 0xFCAF at 11:21 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    Yeah, if that's the coalition then this is total PR posturing. They're not so stupid as to let Obamacare stay in place indefinitely as-is out of purism, any more than Cruz was willing to keep the federal government closed indefinitely in his shutdown stunt. They'll be happy with the tax cuts for the rich, end of essential health benefits and decimation of Medicare once they finish strutting for the cameras.
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:23 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    Up to four now, per the four themselves, who have put out a press statement: Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson.

    I mentioned Johnson yesterday, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see him still singing this tune now that the text of the bill has been released. His statement from yesterday is loading now and says, in part:
    Within two meetings I saw the wide spectrum of opinions within the Republican conference trying to fix this mess that is Obamacare. My suggestion was let's break this into two parts. Let's pass something to stabilize the insurance markets that are literally collapsing under Obamacare. That was my counsel two months ago.
    An interesting twist on Johnson is that he's said that he won't be running for senate again after this term.


    Yeah, this is all just playacting.
    Probably, yeah.

    posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:23 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    The main effect of those "concerned" Senators -- and this will include the moderates, when they finally make their statements -- is to extend the period of uncertainty, where some Democrats can persuade themselves it won't pass and are therefore less likely to drive out to airport protests or chain themselves to doors, a bit closer towards the actual vote day.
    posted by chortly at 11:24 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    > Up to four now, per the four themselves, who have put out a press statement: Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson.

    Tomorrow's "cutesy names for pork barrel provisions inserted to placate hostage Tea Party hostage takers" today:

    Mike Lee: The Beehive State Bribe
    Ted Cruz: The Texas Thimblerig
    Rand Paul: The Kentucky Kickback
    Ron Johnson: The Wisconsin Windfall
    posted by tonycpsu at 11:25 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    I called Senators Grassley and Ernst. I have not had to leave voicemails in the past but nobody appears to be picking up the phones today. Go figure. >:|
    posted by scottatdrake at 11:26 AM on June 22


    God I hate Roy Blunt so much.
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:27 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    They're not so stupid as to let Obamacare stay in place indefinitely as-is out of purism

    But they might be willing to do it due to the AHCA's massive unpopularity, out of political self interest. Plus they can spend future years continuing to complain about "Obamacare" rather than having to criticize something they voted for. They can just say that the Washington swamp wouldn't let them fully repeal ACA.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:28 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    State-level Republicans may even be glad to have an outside boogeyman to blame in front of the rubes

    Here are some reasons that state-level GOP reps might care about AHCA:
    -nearly every state requires a balanced budget
    -most states cannot use dynamic scoring in creating that balanced budget
    -many of these states' budgets are precarious AF already
    -state reps are much more vulnerable to wave elections than US Senators (you can point out the state and local seats Dems have already flipped this year)
    posted by melissasaurus at 11:30 AM on June 22 [19 favorites]


    I am still struggling to wrap my head around the fact that so many elected officials are hellbent on passing literally, not figuratively literally, literally literally, a bill the effects of which are so heartless that you couldn't put this policy in the mouth of a comic book villain.
    posted by bardophile at 11:30 AM on June 22 [51 favorites]


    as Trump has previously state a preference for times of economic crisis and I worry that a recession would provide the fertile ground needed for him and the GOP to put democracy down for good.

    This seems astonishingly unlikely to me. How is it going to be possible for a president with approval ratings so far underwater that they look like a cutaway diagram of the Mariana Trench to transform that into the mass populist support necessary to seize unelected power, during a recession he triggered? I just don't understand what sequence of events could bring that about, particularly given their inability to control the narrative even in the absence of any major external pressure.
    posted by howfar at 11:30 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    They do not appear to have been unsuccessful at it so far.
    posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on June 22


    I take five prescribed medications every day to manage my conditions of chronic migraine, major depressive disorder, fibromyalgia, and complex regional pain syndrome. If I miss any doses, my mental and physical health take a dramatic downturn. If I am no longer able to afford these medications with our ACA coverage, my wrist pain *alone* will eradicate my ability to do either of my jobs, causing my unemployment and a major worsening of our family's financial status.

    I truly and honestly have no words for the terror I feel today.
    posted by altopower at 11:32 AM on June 22 [66 favorites]


    Called my Senator, Collins ME and got through to her Portland office on the second call. I found myself getting angrier and angrier as I made my points to her staffer. The staffer was polite and friendly but just saying the words out loud made the policies revealed more and more criminal. The staffer said that Collins hadn't made a decision yet and was waiting on the CBO score. I replied that anyone who can't make a decision based on the inhumane policies revealed today has blood in their hands.
    Still shaking with anger.
    posted by merocet at 11:32 AM on June 22 [85 favorites]


    I'm sure this has been said upthread, but it's worth repeating. I'm rushed, so copying and pasting from the NYT comment section:
    1. It makes it illegal under the federal TAX CODE for abortion services to be covered by your health insurance plan, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

    2. It eliminates federal tax credits for people whose employee-sponsored health insurance plans OFFER abortion services (except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother). In box 12 of your W-2, the amount your employer-sponsored health insurance premiums is given. This is non-taxable. With this bill, if your plan OFFERS abortion services, that will now be taxable income.
    And is it true that the bill defunds Planned Parenthood?

    No, there's not war against women, of course not, that's just a paranoid liberal fantasy
    posted by jokeefe at 11:33 AM on June 22 [79 favorites]


    Pics of disabled protesters getting arrested outside McConnell's office say all that needs saying.
    posted by emjaybee at 11:34 AM on June 22 [36 favorites]


    my senators are strongly against this turd and i already called them thanking them for their opposition. is there any point in calling senators that aren't mine?
    posted by entropicamericana at 11:34 AM on June 22


    > my senators are strongly against this turd and i already called them thanking them for their opposition. is there any point in calling senators that aren't mine?

    None whatsoever. Spend that time encouraging friends/family members who haven't called their Senators to do so.
    posted by tonycpsu at 11:36 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    a recession is probably on its way already - and if these tax cuts are enough to cause a sell-off, then that's another constituency that will be pissed, although the republicans can probably spin that one - but the smart money will know better

    actually, i still think fascism is more likely to come from the corporate center than the right or the left and the combined efforts of trump and the GOP will make it more likely to happen
    posted by pyramid termite at 11:37 AM on June 22


    eh, 228 years, we had a good run.1
    --
    1. we did not actually have a good run
    posted by entropicamericana at 11:38 AM on June 22 [40 favorites]


    Calling my senators for blocking the AHCA is so weird, because I'm in MA [...] I wish I could do more

    Some suggestions!
    • Charlie Baker's pushing for cuts to MassHealth, so you can call him. Even better, you can comment on posts on his FB page or tweet at him to publicly show your displeasure and tie him to national Republicans. He's up for re-election next year.
    • If you're in eastern MA, support protesters in Maine. Perhaps try contacting some Maine-based Indivisible Groups and see what specifically you can do.
    • I've had luck making FB posts and tagging friends that I know live in or come from a relevant state, and asking them to tag others in that state. Asking for help from specific people may be socially uncomfortable but it's a lot more effective than a general call (which can cause diffusion of responsibility). When I've done this before I've usually generated at least a half dozen calls in swing states, and once or twice have engaged a friend in much more significant activism.
    posted by galaxy rise at 11:40 AM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    > eliminates federal tax credits for people whose employe[r]-sponsored health insurance plans OFFER abortion services (except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother). In box 12 of your W-2, the amount your employer-sponsored health insurance premiums is given. This is non-taxable. With this bill, if your plan OFFERS abortion services, that will now be taxable income.

    Maybe this might be the wake up call to people sitting pretty with employer-provided insurance? Surely ... surely this?
    posted by RedOrGreen at 11:41 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    I found myself getting angrier and angrier as I made my points to her staffer.

    This happens to me every time I write a letter or fax to Pat Toomey. I start out all "Dear Sir, I am writing today to express my concerns..." and end up "...AND YOU ARE A MONSTROUS, EVIL, UNPATRIOTIC, UNCHRISTIAN HUMAN BEING AND YOU CAN FUCK RIGHT OFF AND KEEP FUCKING OFF FOREVER!!!"
    posted by soren_lorensen at 11:42 AM on June 22 [52 favorites]


    eh, 228 years, we had a good run.1
    --
    1. we did not actually have a good run
    posted by entropicamericana


    eponyster... eh...

    yeah, we didn't really have a good run at all, but one could have hoped for the end to be more dignified, like heat death.
    posted by anem0ne at 11:43 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    Maybe this might be the wake up call to people sitting pretty with employer-provided insurance? Surely ... surely this?

    Hah. Sure. Except those people sitting pretty are also the ones who think they, personally, will never need or want an abortion.
    posted by lydhre at 11:43 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    This is a good quick chart from Politico about what's in the bill. This is a good one from the NYT. I wish there were some more graphs that show the reductions, but some good at-a-glance views of what they want to change.

    I truly and honestly have no words for the terror I feel today.

    I'm so sorry you're being put through this. If you're comfortable doing so, sharing personal stories like yours with your elected reps is important and useful. If they're Republicans, you're telling them precisely how the bill will hurt you personally, which makes you an authentic and persuasive caller, and if even they're Democrats, you're giving them ammunition they can use for floor speeches and when talking about the base cruelty of this bill. And we'll all call for you too.
    posted by zachlipton at 11:44 AM on June 22 [9 favorites]




    GOP talking points on the Senate bill (in picture format because Twitter is awful), in case anyone wants a preview of how they're planning to spin this.

    Including (amazingly??) 'Democrats aren't putting aside political considerations to help repeal and replace Obamacare!'

    You bet they're not.
    posted by cjelli at 11:45 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    In box 12 of your W-2, the amount your employer-sponsored health insurance premiums is given. This is non-taxable. With this bill, if your plan OFFERS abortion services, that will now be taxable income.

    This is not correct. There are many horrible things about this bill. But, from my reading, it doesn't change the employer-provided insurance income exclusion (IRC Secs. 105 and 106) in any way (your employer just won't be offered a plan that covers abortion by the insurance company).
    posted by melissasaurus at 11:46 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    > Including (amazingly??) 'Democrats aren't putting aside political considerations to help repeal and replace Obamacare!'

    Republicans understand and exploit the anchoring effect. I am certain a lot of so-called independent voters will hear this and forget that the debate should be relative to the status quo, not relative to the baseline of what all Republicans want.
    posted by tonycpsu at 11:49 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    Pics of disabled protesters getting arrested outside McConnell's office say all that needs saying.

    The entire #ADAPTandResist sequence on Twitter right now is pretty moving.
    posted by chortly at 11:49 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    2. It eliminates federal tax credits for people whose employee-sponsored health insurance plans OFFER abortion services (except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother). In box 12 of your W-2, the amount your employer-sponsored health insurance premiums is given. This is non-taxable. With this bill, if your plan OFFERS abortion services, that will now be taxable income.

    I'm not sure this is quite right. My uninformed reading of the bill that plans purchased on the individual market with the premium tax credits or plans purchased through the small business health insurance tax credit can't cover abortion, but the normal tax destructibility of employer-provided plans is unchanged and has no such new restriction.

    Which is still quite shitty, but not shitty in this specific way.
    posted by zachlipton at 11:49 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    Why Ossoff Lost: The View From A Georgia 6th District Voter
    As a radical democrat in the tradition of Frantz Fanon, Ernesto Laclau, Rosa Luxemburg, Chantal Mouffe, Roberto Unger, Cornel West and Walt Whitman, I’ve always felt unrepresented living in the conservative 6th district. So the prospect of having democrat representation, even in the form of a moderate like Ossoff, excited me.

    But if I’m honest, what would excite me more is having a real grassroots political movement come into form that is not fueled by big outside money. A movement where the values of progressive minded working class people are taken serious. A movement where people are valued over the fiscal bottom line. A movement where the uplift of poor people is a major part of the policy agenda. A movement where empowerment of the demos and the education of the citizenry becomes a national initiative. A movement that advocates for America to finally become as good as its promise.

    Until a movement like this comes democrats will continue to lose and people like me who live in districts like the Georgia 6th will continue to feel unrepresented and under-served.
    posted by kirkaracha at 11:51 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    The anchoring effect can work both ways too, "moderates" get to offer a few token amendments to "improve" the bill and say they did good work, while the Ron Johnsons and Mike Lees of the world get to add in full defunding of Planned Parenthood and make the same claim to their ghoulish base.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 11:54 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    But if I’m honest, what would excite me more is having a real grassroots political movement come into form that is not fueled by big outside money. A movement where the values of progressive minded working class people are taken serious. A movement where people are valued over the fiscal bottom line. A movement where the uplift of poor people is a major part of the policy agenda. A movement where empowerment of the demos and the education of the citizenry becomes a national initiative. A movement that advocates for America to finally become as good as its promise.


    DCCC spends money? OUTSIDERS. DCCC doesn't spend money? SABOTEURS.

    It's the very definition of Democrats: damned if you do and damned if you don't.
    posted by lydhre at 11:55 AM on June 22 [55 favorites]


    This seems astonishingly unlikely to me. How is it going to be possible for a president with approval ratings so far underwater that they look like a cutaway diagram of the Mariana Trench to transform that into the mass populist support necessary to seize unelected power, during a recession he triggered?

    How does a guy who brags about sexual assaults that he has committed, who is held up as a successful business man despite multiple bankruptcies, who a has history of defrauding and ripping off everyone he works with, etc. etc. get elected POTUS? The answers are more clear in retrospect but I was absolutely certain that HRC was our next president.

    Nov. 8 taught me not to take anything for granted. I hope you're right and all the facts point to you being correct. I think we're better off assuming that it can and will happen and taking steps to prevent the eventuality than assuming that it's impossible.

    I'm never going to underestimate just how bad things can get again.
    posted by VTX at 11:57 AM on June 22 [23 favorites]


    Including (amazingly??) 'Democrats aren't putting aside political considerations to help repeal and replace Obamacare!'

    I've been wondering if the so-called "liberal media" will do its job at informing the American people about how terrible this bill is (for example, if they use the usual NPR formulation of "critics say the bill will raise premiums and deny coverage," it won't be a good sign).

    But if the media allows that kind of transparent weak-sauce nonsense to stand unchallenged, we're all in a lot of trouble.
    posted by Gelatin at 11:57 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    NBC/WSJ poll:
    A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that by a 3-to-1 margin, the American public holds a negative view of the American Health Care Act, 48% to 16%.

    Strikingly, even Republican respondents in the poll are lukewarm about the House bill, with only 34% viewing it positively (and 17% viewing it negatively).
    posted by Chrysostom at 12:03 PM on June 22 [15 favorites]


    Last Thursday, the well-connected political scientist Ian Bremmer tweeted the following: “Heard from Defense Min of a US ally: Mattis & Tillerson said they make relevant policy decisions & ignore Trump because he’s not in charge.”
    In other words, national security policy is being set not by the duly-elected president of the United States but by a career army officer and the former CEO of ExxonMobil.
    posted by adamvasco at 12:06 PM on June 22 [60 favorites]


    My prediction is this passes 50-50 with Pence as tiebreaker. Paul votes No because he likes to play Libertarian Guy, Murkowski gets the other free No because Alaska will be devastated by this. Collins doesn't need the No because she's going to run for Maine governor in 2018.

    Other free No might be Heller, given that he's up this year and Nevada is trending blue.
    posted by Chrysostom at 12:09 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    If you're comfortable doing so, sharing personal stories like yours with your elected reps is important and useful. If they're Republicans, you're telling them precisely how the bill will hurt you personally, which makes you an authentic and persuasive caller, and if even they're Democrats, you're giving them ammunition they can use for floor speeches and when talking about the base cruelty of this bill.

    If you're inclined to share personal stories, Indivisible is collecting names and stories to use as amendments during the "vote-a-rama" opposition to the bill (if McConnell allows that, which seems pretty unlikely).
    posted by gladly at 12:09 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Republicans don't care that it's unpopular because this bill is their life's work, the reason they went into politics in the first place. There will be a monument to it at the Cato Institute one day.

    > In other words, national security policy is being set not by the duly-elected president of the United States but by a career army officer and the former CEO of ExxonMobil.

    So what you're saying is...things could be worse? *rimshot on drum kit made of skulls*
    posted by The Card Cheat at 12:09 PM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    a career army officer

    A career Marine Corps officer, in point of fact.

    And that's not just picking at details. The two services, while both concerned primarily with land combat, have very different philosophies about virtually everything. As a small but instructive example, I'm an Army Civil Affairs officer. We call ourselves "the Peace Corps with guns", which is insulting to the Peace Corps, but still, we're the ones who are on the ground talking to and helping civilian populations before the fight starts, and we advise commanders on how to deal with civilian populations when the fight is happening. I went to training in 2008, where I was taught by Army Civil Affairs officers and noncommissioned officers who had spent an average of probably a decade doing these missions. They had been taught by Army Civil Affairs officers and NCOs who had spent even longer, and so on and so forth, back to the days when Civil Affairs was Military Government during World War II (in which time my great-granduncle served as a Military Government NCO).

    In my class, training right alongside me, seven years after the start of the War in Afghanistan, five years after the start of the War in Iraq, were the first Marine officer and noncommissioned officer to ever go through Civil Affairs training.
    posted by Etrigan at 12:15 PM on June 22 [68 favorites]


    An ideal presidency is one in which the elected president surrounds himself with experts, delegates general policy decisions to them, takes an interest in and is informed of larger strategic questions or specific controversial issues, and decides which expert is in the right on a specific point, or otherwise asks for compromise between experts. The experts should be somewhat deferential to the president and, in rare cases, should be fired for incompetence in carrying out the president's agenda, but should be willing to speak their mind freely.

    What we have is a confused old man watching Fox and agreeing with whoever he last spoke to, up until he agrees with the opposite. There's no chain of command. He might tell two different subordinates with the same vague portfolio to do contradictory things. He has no capacity for understanding any of the questions presented to him. He's never going to fire his people for incompetence; he's more likely to fire them for conducting a competent investigation into him.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:19 PM on June 22 [40 favorites]




    Why don't they just stamp NOT REPORTABLE on Donald's forehead and be done with it
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:24 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    As a radical democrat in the tradition of Frantz Fanon, Ernesto Laclau, Rosa Luxemburg, Chantal Mouffe, Roberto Unger, Cornel West and Walt Whitman

    Cool, humanities grad students live in Georgia's 6th district too. Yeah, so if I'm hearing you, bro, what the Democratic Party needs is way more critical theory references and an extension on the final paper deadline.
    /jk
    posted by spitbull at 12:24 PM on June 22 [32 favorites]


    A career Marine Corps officer, in point of fact.

    And one with a hard-on for war with Iran (the more despots or theocratic autocracies he can team up with, the better!) and little to no moral qualms in letting civilians get caught in the crossfire.
    posted by zombieflanders at 12:32 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    This is a good quick chart from Politico about what's in the bill. This is a good one from the NYT. I wish there were some more graphs that show the reductions, but some good at-a-glance views of what they want to change.

    I've looked at both of these and haven't seen anything about the prohibition on lifetime/annual caps. Anybody know whether those are being retained?
    posted by joyceanmachine at 12:32 PM on June 22


    Motorcyclist detained for driving at protesters on SF street
    They had been lying in the street for about 7 minutes when a motorcyclist turned the wrong way on the one-way street and drove toward the protesters, witnesses said.

    “He was revving and revving, he was gunning it, aiming at people who were laying down,” said Brieger.

    The man was soon surrounded by police and detained, witnesses said. In video footage of the confrontation, officers appear to point weapons at him and order him off his bike.
    And once again we're losing the fucking plot. One side is seriously opposed to reforms that's going to see millions suffer and thousands die. The other is, what? Opposed to them for the fucking lulz? Just fucking with them out of spite? Seriously want to hurt people who are protesting misery for millions and death sentences for how many thousands?

    How fucking devoid of empathy are we going to see people get to before we turn a corner as a species? Because right now I'm pretty sure if there are aliens they're planning to nuke us from orbit as a quarantine measure.
    posted by Talez at 12:33 PM on June 22 [35 favorites]


    My spouse is actively setting the stage to pursue a divorce action in a misguided attempt to protect me financially when this thing becomes law. It could be argued that she is terminal except she was given six months to live nearly twenty years ago, so I guess we should call it chronic. But we hit our prescription deductible cap in March-April every year. We hit our out of pocket cap by June-July depending on hospitalizations. Her fear is that if we lose the coverage provided by my employer, we'll be bankrupt and she'll be dead in a hot minute.

    The only reason she agreed to marry me was the seeming permanence of Obamacare.

    And, yeah, we'll still love each other and do all the things married folk do, but for whatever reason, that fucking piece of paper and legal status is really important to me.

    So, fuck these assholes. Even if this miraculously dies on the floor instead of admitting one Senate to a beer party in the Rose Garden, it's been a really rough past few months on the domestic front.

    Also, Grassley and Ernst give zero fucks. No matter how many times I tell this story to their staffers. If I didn't have caregiver responsibilities to focus on, I don't know how unhinged I might actually become over this.
    posted by Fezboy! at 12:35 PM on June 22 [150 favorites]


    Due to a one-time windfall early this year, the retroactivity of the repeal of the Net Investment Income Tax would save me a ton in taxes – and I'm still aghast at the bald avarice of the Senate GOP. If that shit becomes law I'm sending a big check to Planned Parenthood.
    posted by nicwolff at 12:41 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


    Wasn't it supposed to be the Democrats threatening traditional marriage?
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:42 PM on June 22 [15 favorites]


    CNBC: Trump's Carrier deal is not living up to the hype
    More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved. The deal, announced with great fanfare before Trump took office, was billed not only as a heroic move to keep jobs from going to Mexico but also as a seismic shift in the economic development landscape.

    Nearly seven months later the deal has not worked out quite as originally advertised, and the landscape has barely budged.
    This is unsurprising, in that it was clear back when Trump was over-hyping this that Trump was, well, over-hyping this. But a lot of people bought into the hype; maybe this being a reality, rather than a prediction, will make more of an impact.
    posted by cjelli at 12:43 PM on June 22 [24 favorites]


    Other free No might be Heller, given that he's up this year and Nevada is trending blue.

    Heller is a dead man walking. Voting no on Fuckyougotminecare will not save him.
    posted by Talez at 12:43 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    So if Heller votes yes, and is run out of office on a rail by Nevada voters in 2018, he gets a cushy think tank or wingnut welfare job? One he presumably doesn't get if he helps block this pile of garbage? Or is he enough of a True Believer to vote for something terrible and harmful because that's what Republicans do?
    posted by Gelatin at 12:48 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    The sad thing is that Obamacare does have issues. I can't completely deny some of the criticisms made against it.

    But it is a damn sight better than where we were before it. The facts that those bitching about it are the same who blocked it from being better in the first place, AND want it replaced by the Rich People Get Most Of Your Money And One Of Your Eyes Act of 2017... in the words of Ricardo Montalban, it TASKS me.
    posted by delfin at 12:48 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


    altopower and Fezboy!, I'm so sorry. I've been trying to suss out how worried I should be about my mother's healthcare, and even from this distance, the fear I feel for her weighs on me. I can't begin to imagine how horrible this is for you.
    posted by bardophile at 12:52 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    The sad thing is that Obamacare does have issues. I can't completely deny some of the criticisms made against it.

    But it is a damn sight better than where we were before it.


    This 100%. Your cancer treatment abruptly stopped? Apparently you hit your million dollar lifetime cap on your insurance. Don't worry, sir, one of our friendly urban watercourse relocation specialists will be along shortly to transfer you to your existent transition plan.
    posted by Talez at 12:56 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]




    I don't think it's a coincidence that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are the two most popular figureheads of the left wing. They are angry motherfuckers, and I like that they're angry.

    On the Senate floor today Warren is filled with righteous fury: “These cuts are blood money. People. Will. Die. Let's be very clear: Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives.”
    posted by Doktor Zed at 1:02 PM on June 22 [117 favorites]




    Let's be very clear: Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives.”

    Bravo, Senator Professor Warren! This message is exactly the one that needs to be said by every Democrat and decent person who speaks to the media.

    Let the Republicans try to deny it.

    (And again -- these actions are not those of a party that believes it has a long-term viability as a majority caucus. This outrage of a bill shows that McConnell and crew want to cram their tax cuts thru while they can, before they lose the House and, in 2020, the presidency and senate as well.)
    posted by Gelatin at 1:07 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    I'm simultaneously relieved to read Obama's statement, and seething with rage at the two spaces between sentences in his statement. You think you really know somebody, then they go and do a thing like that.
    posted by emelenjr at 1:08 PM on June 22 [33 favorites]


    You mean the two spaces that I appreciated to better differentiate between a comma and period?
    The two spaces that I add after each and every sentence that I type from now until the end of time? There are valid and strong opinions on both sides and this isn't really the place to talk about it.

    I still use the oxford comma too. ;)
    posted by VTX at 1:16 PM on June 22 [40 favorites]


    > On the Senate floor today Warren is filled with righteous fury: “These cuts are blood money. People. Will. Die. Let's be very clear: Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives.”
    Today is her birthday. We should make her a MeFi cake, but what to write on it?
    posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:19 PM on June 22 [14 favorites]


    We should make her a MeFi cake, but what to write on it?

    She persisted.
    posted by jammer at 1:22 PM on June 22 [30 favorites]


    but what to write on it?

    POTUS 46
    posted by banshee at 1:23 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    Today is her birthday. We should make her a MeFi cake, but what to write on it?

    "If the bill passes sotonohito gets to eat this instead."
    posted by Talez at 1:24 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    She's already said she doesn't want to run. Please respect her fucking choices.
    posted by Deoridhe at 1:24 PM on June 22 [20 favorites]


    I also hope the Republican plan's opponents will keep mentioning how many of Donald Trump's electoral promises it breaks. ("He said it'd be better. It's much worse.") Trump is notoriously thin-skinned, and it might help to make him lose his temper if the bill is perceived by his constituents as a betrayal.
    posted by Gelatin at 1:25 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    She's already said she doesn't want to run.

    She's approximately 175th in line. If Trump starts spilling to try to save his own ass, she might not have to run.
    posted by Etrigan at 1:29 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    She's already said she doesn't want to run.

    We were discussing new faces in the Democratic leadership earlier. Warren does an amazing job of communicating kitchen-table issues and how the Republican agenda works against Americans who aren't rich. I wonder if she would consider a leadership position, with its increased visibility?
    posted by Gelatin at 1:29 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    I've looked at both of these and haven't seen anything about the prohibition on lifetime/annual caps. Anybody know whether those are being retained?

    As I understand it, there's nothing inherent in the bill that says the lifetime caps have to come back, but the bill allows states to waive the essential health benefits that define what "an insurance plan" actually means. There's some dispute as to whether that would impact lifetime limits for employer plans, but that's also the kind of thing Tom Price would be in charge of figuring out, so going with the interpretation that denies as much health care as possible seems safe.

    Meanwhile, the House is having a crackdown on sleeveless dresses, which pretty much tells you where we are as a country right now.

    Bonus video from Sports Illustrated: President Trump driving his golf cart all over the green is the most Trump thing ever (via MikeNFrank/Twitter). I like how he claims he was claims he was playing "good until this hole," which is uncharacteristically honest of him; I would have expected him to lie about the bad performance his fans just watched too.
    posted by zachlipton at 1:31 PM on June 22 [21 favorites]


    She's already said she doesn't want to run.

    Where can I read about that? I can only find right-wing misinterpretations of her asserting that she intends to run for the Senate in 2018.
    posted by Coventry at 1:32 PM on June 22


    Like fezboys wife, I have already looked at and planned how to leave my 20+ year marriage if insurance stops covering pre existing conditions. I won't bankrupt my family, or destroy my kid's chance to go to college because the pharmaceutical companies need to pay bonuses to three initial executives, and billionaires need tax cuts for their jets and tennis courts.

    I know my husband would sacrifice everything for me, and I cannot allow that to happen.
    posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:33 PM on June 22 [42 favorites]


    If Trump supporters don't care about the health, wellbeing or financial solvency of their fellow Americans, maybe they will care about adorable bears?
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:34 PM on June 22


    Meanwhile, the House is having a crackdown on sleeveless dresses, which pretty much tells you where we are as a country right now.

    christian taliban?
    posted by entropicamericana at 1:35 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


    a daydream of Nancy Pelosi ripping off both her sleeves and slowly rotating to flip the double bird at the entire house
    posted by prize bull octorok at 1:37 PM on June 22 [74 favorites]


    They'd vote for Elizabeth Warren in a heartbeat, they can't possibly be sexist!

    Until she actually ran. Theoretical women are cool.

    But if I’m honest, what would excite me more is having a real grassroots political movement come into form that is not fueled by big outside money.

    Dude, everyone wants a pony.

    Because right now I'm pretty sure if there are aliens they're planning to nuke us from orbit as a quarantine measure.


    I for one...
    posted by bongo_x at 1:39 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    zachlipton: Meanwhile, the House is having a crackdown on sleeveless dresses

    And here I was thinking that you folks had the right to bare arms.
    posted by Too-Ticky at 1:40 PM on June 22 [94 favorites]


    Where can I read about that? I can only find right-wing misinterpretations of her asserting that she intends to run for the Senate in 2018.

    The usual cite is from a May 2017 Bloomberg interview, transcribed here.
    Kevin Cirilli: What do you actually put into that decision? The biggest decision you can make…

    Warren: It’s a very thoughtful question but I actually have to put this in a temporal place. I’m not running for President, I’m running for my re-election for Senate in 2018 and I announced very early because I want people to know that I am all-in.
    posted by mykescipark at 1:40 PM on June 22


    And here I was thinking that you folks had the right to bare arms.

    (from the Robin Williams quote deep in my DNA) and the right to arm bears.
    posted by Melismata at 1:41 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    Apparently men have to wear suit and tie, but I suspect that isn't enforced so much...
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:41 PM on June 22


    Being pro both global warming AND heavier dress codes seems cruel.
    posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


    New House Rule: Members of the minority party shall attend the House floor concealed beneath not less than two duck-down comforters
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:44 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    There is a long, long, long American tradition of asking, begging, and cajoling politicians who say they don't want to run, to please, please run. It is disrespecting Warren more to say that she, of all of those who have been reluctantly called, should not be asked. We make no demands, but it is wrong to demand that we not repeatedly ask.

    Also, many of her demurrals, like the one cited above, are not that she has no desire to run or no intention of running, and they are certainly not requests that we stop asking. They are mainly just standard political statements that the politician is not currently running, or actively considering it, at this time.
    posted by chortly at 1:44 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    There is a right to bare arms, but they shall not be en-fringed.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:45 PM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    If Trump supporters don't care about the health, wellbeing or financial solvency of their fellow Americans, maybe they will care about adorable bears?

    Delisting the Yellowstone grizzly will allow trophy hunting which is very on-brand for the Trumps.
    posted by peeedro at 1:45 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    I guess we are a decade or so too early for President Harris?
    posted by Artw at 1:46 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    The usual cite is from a May 2017 Bloomberg interview, transcribed here.

    Which says right at the top "She is definitely not ruling out a run but focusing on the here and now. Smart."
    posted by Coventry at 1:47 PM on June 22


    I guess we are a decade or so too early for President Harris?

    obama was elected to the senate in 2004. just sayin'
    posted by entropicamericana at 1:50 PM on June 22 [24 favorites]


    Anyone seriously running for the democratic nomination has every reason to say they aren't interested in it at this point. It's standard political theater. Arguably it's more "respectful" to Warren to attribute the usual motivations and ambitions and tactical skills to her that we would to any male politician who declined to state an interest in the job, like Joe Biden during 2015.

    I think Joe Biden is gonna run as the wise old hand who can lead America back from the Trumpian chaos, friend of the working man, etc., and that his schtick will be very effective after two more years of this insanity. He will pledge to only serve one term. And if he's smart he will pick Gillebrand (who also says "not running") or Harris or Klobuchar as his running mate.

    Not saying I support this but I think it has tactical merit.
    posted by spitbull at 1:53 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    Joe Biden is 74 years old. After one term he will be 81. After two terms he will be 85. I don't think that's an ideal candidate.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:57 PM on June 22 [15 favorites]




    Al Franken is slightly more viable at 66.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:58 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    Joe Biden is 74 years old. After one term he will be 81. After two terms he will be 85. I don't think that's an ideal candidate.

    but think of the memes bruh
    posted by entropicamericana at 1:58 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    74 years old

    Yeah I know. But there are no "ideal" candidates. And the names most people come up with are pretty young (politically).

    He's a heathy 74 and clearly still burns with ambition. My case is he can play the age and experience thing as a solution.

    He is running. I'll put money on it.
    posted by spitbull at 2:00 PM on June 22


    They're not so stupid as to let Obamacare stay in place indefinitely as-is out of purism,

    I can't speak for the others, but when we as NeverTrump were trying to upend the rules of the GOP convention in order to unbind the delegates and reject Trump, it was only Senator Mike Lee who was willing to break the line and push past bodyguards to deliver the delegate petitions where they needed to go - and who joined us in walking off the floor when they broke the rules. When speaking with him at that time, I got the sense of an extremely honorable man - one I may often disagree with, but who does not engage in posturing. If he's saying he's considering voting no, I believe he means it. I think it's worth finding out what his objections are, and calling his office and pushing down hard on them.
    posted by corb at 2:01 PM on June 22 [19 favorites]


    Well we don't have to pre-litigate the next primaries. But my case is that age is just a number.
    posted by spitbull at 2:02 PM on June 22


    spitbull: He is running. I'll put money on it.

    Your money's no good here. You need to bake a cake.
    posted by Too-Ticky at 2:02 PM on June 22 [23 favorites]


    World Turned Upside Down Cake.
    posted by spitbull at 2:05 PM on June 22 [10 favorites]


    While obviously superior to the current cretin, Joe fucking Biden should not run for nor be elected president.
    posted by aspersioncast at 2:05 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    We're all agreed that The Zuck can go take a fuck, right?
    posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on June 22 [21 favorites]


    You guys I am too flattened by pics of people in wheelchairs being zip-tied and put in police vans to give a shit about what Biden does right now.
    posted by emjaybee at 2:07 PM on June 22 [44 favorites]


    Being president ages people. Look at the before-and-afters of Obama and Bush, and they were younger, physically active people. I thought both Clinton and Trump were a bit too old to be president, him more so because of his unhealthy lifestyle. Trump was the oldest person to become president, at 70 years, 220 days. The second-oldest, Reagan, developed Alzheimer's in office. It's too tasking for septuagenarians.
    posted by kirkaracha at 2:07 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    Yeah let's drop the Biden derail, I apologize for bringing it up.
    posted by spitbull at 2:09 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    I didn't [+] your post SecretAgentSockpuppet. Not because I don't identify or know the depth of the struggle that precipitates that decision or what that decision represents, because I do. It's just patently absurd that we find ourselves in this position.

    I'm just afraid a [+] could be construed as support for that plan. I've warned the Lady Fez I will bankrupt myself anyway by hiring my own attorney to fight her even though this is a No Fault state. It's the only gesture I can think of that strikes the right level of absurdity.

    If we're going down, I want to at least marvel in the spectacle.
    posted by Fezboy! at 2:12 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    Bonus video from Sports Illustrated: President Trump driving his golf cart all over the green is the most Trump thing ever (via MikeNFrank/Twitter).

    Faux Pas Americana!
    posted by srboisvert at 2:12 PM on June 22


    But my case is that age is just a number.

    Unfortunately, it is a number that measures how many years old you are.
    posted by thelonius at 2:12 PM on June 22 [35 favorites]


    There is a right to bare arms, but they shall not be en-fringed.

    No. It's a right to bear arms. That's why Trump is delisting the Yellowstone Grizzly. It's positively unconstitutional.
    posted by Talez at 2:12 PM on June 22


    Well we don't have to pre-litigate the next primaries.

    Indeed we really really don't. Everybody, there's a bunch of other threads on the site y'all can go check out if you're just kinda killing time in here. There's a great big MetaFilter out there.
    posted by cortex at 2:15 PM on June 22 [20 favorites]


    > Well we don't have to pre-litigate the next primaries.

    Don't mitigate, pre-litigate!
    posted by RedOrGreen at 2:20 PM on June 22


    George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and both Clintons were all born in 1946. Romney, Kerry, and Gore were also born in the 1940s. Aside from Obama, every major party presidential nominee this millennium was alive in the ’40s. It’ll be impressive it that continues all the to 2020.
    posted by mbrubeck at 2:22 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    And the names most people come up with are pretty young (politically).

    Barack Obama was pretty young politically, still in his first term as a Senator, in 2008. I think it worked in his favor in that there were fewer controversial votes for opponents to point to.
    posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:23 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Back to the healthcare bill, Murkowski posted on Facebook that she'll be "working closely with the state over the next several days to analyze the text and crunch the numbers." Perhaps relatedly, Alaska's Governor Walker was recently in the news expressing his concerns about the bill. (He's a former Republican turned Independent who won the governorship after joining forces with the then-Democratic candidate (now Lt Gov) in 2014.) Also of possible interest - Alaska's currently on the brink of a July 1 government shutdown as the newly-Democrat-coalition-led house and Republican-controlled senate try to hash out a budget while disagreeing on a long term fiscal plan, so the state's probably pretty aware of potentially devastating fiscal impacts right now. (Supposedly they're getting close on the operating budget.) Will any of this context matter? Who knows.

    (Bonus Murkowski trivia: She beat her former tea party challenger from 2010 again in 2016 when he took over the Libertarian spot after the Libertarian candidate was sexually harassed and sabotaged by her campaign manager.)
    posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 2:24 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    Barack Obama was pretty young politically, still in his first term as a Senator, in 2008. I think it worked in his favor in that there were fewer controversial votes for opponents to point to.

    Not being tainted by Iraq was a big deal. Still should be.
    posted by Artw at 2:29 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    Hi. It's still 2017. Can we please concentrate on now and 2018 before we start hashing out details for 2020 presidential shit? IDGAF that Trump has started campaigning. It's a sideshow.
    posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:34 PM on June 22 [14 favorites]


    He claimed he could shoot someone in the middle of the street and not lose any votes.

    People thought it was ridiculous. It was hyperbole. It was offensive in its absurdity.

    Then he ordered his steaks well done and poured ketchup on them.

    Then he drove a golf cart on the green.

    It was not hyperbole, people.
    posted by The World Famous at 2:37 PM on June 22 [10 favorites]


    Guy Molyneux, The American Prospect: A Tale Of Two Populisms

    The article goes into detail about distrust of government, especially among the white working class (I know, I know...), and digs deeper into this concept.

    A quote: This anti-government sentiment is mainly driven by antipathy toward political leaders, rather than governmental agencies and departments.

    And the money quote for me: Political distrust has developed over decades, and has many causes. But let us give the devil his due, and acknowledge that Senator Mitch McConnell, more than any other single person, is the father of Trumpism. By grinding Washington to a virtual halt for years, his blanket opposition to Obama helped ratchet up public disgust with the federal government to previously unseen heights. Even while the economy was recovering, confidence in Washington fell steadily, an impressive if perverse feat.

    It occurs to me that the witches and magic workers who are doing Trump binding spells, ought to do McConnell binding spells as well. Trump is obviously, stupidly bad, but McConnell has done so much damage over so much time that this worries me almost as much as Trump (I say almost because McConnell does not have his finger on the Big Red Button). Gridlocking Congress destroys trust in government, and it makes many people want an "imperial Presidency." I remember when Democrats and liberals were saying, why doesn't Obama do more, why doesn't he get tough, something something Roosevelt and Johnson precedent blah blah. And I know the origins of the current executive branch powers go back to Bush II. But it's something to think about: gridlocking and obstructing Congress so it can't do much puts the onus on the President to get stuff done, and inevitably someone like Trump gets into power, the shoe is on the other foot and it's pinching...

    It really, really is going to be a marathon to try to get things working again, I think.
    posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:39 PM on June 22 [15 favorites]


    The sad thing is that Obamacare does have issues. I can't completely deny some of the criticisms made against it.

    Many of those issues - states opting out of Medicaid expansion, elimination of risk corridors - were caused by Republicans sabotaging the law. They don't get credit for criticizing problems they created.
    posted by chris24 at 2:39 PM on June 22 [42 favorites]


    Meanwhile, in a state known for it's importance in Presidential elections...

    Ryan J. Foley, AP - Trump’s putdown of wind energy whips up a backlash in Iowa
    posted by CyberSlug Labs at 2:40 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    ... it's because Republicans have refused to consider any improvements or even routine fixes to the ACA

    Well, you're getting closer. It's actually that they've acted to make it worse by disabling the funding that made it work, removing or limiting subsidies to insurers tasked with covering the individual market. And now they're working to make it even worse by contracting Medicaid and weakening consumer protections. Their one and only goal is to get rid of the tax increases by removing funding for poor people.
    posted by Mental Wimp at 2:40 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    Meanwhile, the House is having a crackdown on sleeveless dresses, which pretty much tells you where we are as a country right now.

    Sleeveless dresses stopped being shocking in the 1920s, and again in the 1960s, but as with all forms of social control of women, gains are never permanent.
    posted by Hypatia at 2:43 PM on June 22 [40 favorites]


    If you want to take the optimist position, here's the NYT Congressional Memo: McConnell’s Calculation May Be That He Still Wins by Losing

    ... it is possible that Mr. McConnell views the potential failure of a hastily written health care bill as an eventual boon ... so that they can move on to their real heart's desire, cutting taxes for rich people.

    On the other hand - cutting taxes for the rich, denying healthcare to kids and the disabled - why not both?

    It seems more likely to me that the bill in its current form is taking the temperature of the caucus, McConnell is figuring out exactly what "incentives" are needed (the Cornhusker Kickback, or the Beehive State Bribe that tonycpsu suggested way above), and they end up passing it in a sudden late night roll call vote and ram it through the House as well.

    And then ... does it have "heart", or might it get vetoed?

    Ha ha, of course Trump signs it. Fuck you, that's why.
    posted by RedOrGreen at 2:44 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    Hey guys I'm about $1k away from hitting my max out-of-pocket for this year's healthcare expenditures. I hit my $2600 deductible back in April.

    There's no way I'm happy about this "high risk pools" nonsense at the state level. The last policy I purchased for myself individually was hell to obtain, required a ridiculous amount of tests and stipulated that "no asthma medication shall be covered for the first seven years of continuous coverage under this policy; any medications prescribed for treating pre-existing conditions shall not be covered for a similar period of time should $NAME experience any lapses in continuous coverage under this plan."

    I mean, sure, right now I can afford to pay $70 per rescue inhaler. How much will it cost me next year? Or the year after that?

    I'm with everyone above who says they're scared to death of this ACHA bill passing. My prescriptions already cost more than $1k/month before I meet my deductible.

    Surely I'm not the only Mefite that's gotten one of those a-hole insurance policy termination letters that reads something like:
    "we regret to inform you that your healthcare plan reached the maximum lifetime coverage amount on DAY/MONTH/YEAR. It is your responsibility to procure alternate coverage with a different provider no later than 30 days after receipt of this letter. It's been a privilege to serve your healthcare needs."
    I'm just so, so stupid for thinking chronically ill people might get the chance to live a little bit longer just because Obama told insurance companies they can't reject us or terminate our coverage after we hit that lifetime maximum. Even worse, I'm getting old now and my premiums should be downright astronomical if this shit show actually gets through.

    That's it, cake and ice cream for dinner. Why work out and eat healthy if the government's hell-bent on killing me so everyone on Capitol Hill can have one extra dollar?
    posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:54 PM on June 22 [52 favorites]


    Wow, this is quite startling. @maggieNYT Audio is now permissible from today's briefing, per pool

    Classic 'door in the face' technique.
    posted by srboisvert at 2:55 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Assuming Josh Marshall's Iron Law of Republican Politics (that the ‘GOP moderates’ will always cave) holds true, the best outcome here is that the conservative senators are unwilling to vote for anything that could pass under reconciliation, because such a bill doesn't go far enough in repealing ACA and replacing it by a lone tumbleweed rolling across the Senate floor, and so they're unable to get 51 votes for that reason.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:57 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    Of course, if the 'GOP moderates' believe the bill is a lost cause, it's a lot easier for them to vote against it.
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:59 PM on June 22


    it's a lot easier for them to vote against it.

    Ahahah... them tax cuts, tho.
    posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 3:06 PM on June 22


    Wrote my senators then called their offices. I am sick today, so all I had to say was:
    I'm completely opposed to Murderous Mitch's travesty of a healthcare bill. The ACA saved my life.
    I may have also added to the tail end of one of the calls that "Congressional Republicans are an infected pustule on the ass of America." Ya, I'm real pissed. Again. Or still. Whatever. I'm taking a nap.
    posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 3:11 PM on June 22 [14 favorites]


    BuzzFeed: Trump Told Democrats He Wants To Do Something About Deported Veterans. His Staff Was Less Open.
    At a private dinner with centrist Democrats last week, Donald Trump indicated he was sympathetic to the plight of military veterans who have been deported, before his staff quickly assured him that the issue is a complicated one.

    "We should do something about this," Trump said, according to sources familiar with the meeting attended by Democratic Reps. Vicente Gonzalez, Stephanie Murphy and Kyrsten Sinema. A staffer quickly told the president the issue is that the men subsequently committed crimes, which eventually led to their deportation.

    Sources familiar with the dinner said Trump told Gonzalez that he should detail the issue to him in writing, to which Gonzalez responded that he had already sent the president two letters.
    Some nice FOIA work from BuzzFeed: Memo Shows Preet Bharara Was Concerned After Phone Call From White House. A bunch is redacted, but they've got the emails Bharara sent after Trump's secretary called to memorialize his actions and his decision not to speak to the President.
    posted by zachlipton at 3:36 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


    OMG are these senators at all serious about what they're doing here? At all?

    Washington Post live updates: How to stop people from buying coverage only when they’re sick? “That kind of gaming of the system is a problem,” Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.) said Thursday afternoon on a call with reporters. “There’s still discussion about how to discourage that sort of thing.” ... Toomey also said he’s “likely” to vote for the legislation.

    You clowns, you buffoons, the entire point of the ACA individual mandate was to reduce the likelihood of insurance market death spirals that you've been gleefully cackling about. Even the House bill nodded to that requirement - poorly, but at least they had a mechanism (surcharges for lack of continuous coverage).

    And for your replacement - you just haven't thought about it? Words fail me.
    posted by RedOrGreen at 3:38 PM on June 22 [42 favorites]


    OMG are these senators at all serious about what they're doing here? At all?

    Yes. But what they're doing here is finding money to turn into permanent tax cuts for the rich.

    It's not health care policy, at all.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 3:40 PM on June 22 [15 favorites]


    Ha ha, of course Trump signs it. Fuck you, that's why.

    You're absolutely correct, of course, but that hasn't stopped me from having a recurring fantasy about Trump vetoing that horror show of a bill after 95% of the Republicans in Congress are on record voting for it.
    posted by jcreigh at 3:52 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    NBC News Advisers Don’t Want Trump Talking About Russia. But He Is
    n Iowa, where Trump addressed supporters at a campaign-style rally for well over an hour, he repeatedly deviated from the Teleprompter. At one point, he tried to explain to the crowd why he had multi-millionaires, including Gary Cohn, former of Goldman Sachs, serving in his administration. In short, Trump said it was because he didn't want a "poor person" in charge of the nation's economy.

    The adviser said aides found some parts of the president's speech "cringe worthy."

    The senior White House official, who agreed to speak anonymously in order to discuss internal White House thinking, said the administration believes they if can succeed in their agenda, Republicans will be able to string together election victories because Democrats have no plan beyond “dump Trump.”
    Oh that's rich. The Republicans have no plan beyond cut taxes for the wealthiest. I would say our foremost plan is to dump Trump because it is vital for the well being of our country and its citizens. And because-- I say this with utmost sincerity-- he is a fucking crook.

    I'm not much of a one for nicknames but I've started calling Mitch McConnell Senator McDeath. His smiles gives me the shivers especially since I know he is gleeful about the prospect of taking healthcare away from pregnant women, newborns, children, disabled, and the elderly.
    posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:57 PM on June 22 [21 favorites]


    CBS Investigators probe whether Trump associates got info from hacked voter databases
    CBS News has confirmed that congressional investigators are interested in whether Trump campaign associates obtained information from hacked voter databases.

    A source indicated it is still early on in the process of scrutinizing the issue, but the House Intelligence Committee is said to be scrutinizing relevant documents to see if there is a connection. TIME was the first to report the development, attributing it to two sources familiar with the investigations. CBS News has learned that so far there is no evidence that information taken from voter databases was used by Trump officials. Still, it is a sign that the congressional investigation is expanding
    posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:10 PM on June 22 [32 favorites]


    That seems pretty easy to turn into "We need to dump Trump to get him and the rest of the GOP out of the way so that we can do X, Y, and Z."
    posted by VTX at 4:20 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    VOX Lobbyists are so disgusted with the Senate health care bill, they compared it to leeching
    Bruce Siegel, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, which represents 300 health service providers, released a statement saying the proposed bill “will make our nation sicker, less productive, and less secure.”

    Siegel expressed concern that “[f]or the hospitals that protect millions of Americans and their communities — our essential hospitals — this bill might even accelerate decisions by some to reduce services or close their doors.”

    That would cost jobs — and it could cost lives, he writes:

    It would kill jobs—more than 1.5 million nationally by some estimates, including tens of thousands in states as diverse as Maine, West Virginia, Arizona, and Alaska. It would undermine progress toward defeating national health threats, such as the opioid epidemic and others.
    Well I'm glad to see some reporting on the job-killing aspect of this bill. Up to now most of the discussion has been on the patients who will lose coverage and possibly their lives. But I believe there are also wider implications in this bill's effects on the economy. Senator Richard Burr released a statement this morning that made me see red. He had the gall to say that cutting taxes on medical devises would create jobs. What a lot of bull. For one thing he fails to see that cutting the number of patients with access to these medical devises will mean fewer sales in America. Oh well. Maybe they can sell them abroad where people still have universal coverage.
    posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:27 PM on June 22 [34 favorites]


    Hey guys I'm about $1k away from hitting my max out-of-pocket for this year's healthcare expenditures. I hit my $2600 deductible back in April.

    There's no way I'm happy about this "high risk pools" nonsense at the state level. The last policy I purchased for myself individually was hell to obtain, required a ridiculous amount of tests and stipulated that "no asthma medication shall be covered for the first seven years of continuous coverage under this policy; any medications prescribed for treating pre-existing conditions shall not be covered for a similar period of time should $NAME experience any lapses in continuous coverage under this plan."

    I mean, sure, right now I can afford to pay $70 per rescue inhaler. How much will it cost me next year? Or the year after that?


    I bought a new one for $3.37 a few days ago, the HFC aerosol-powered kind. Well, not one, a bunch, 'cause different bags/pockets/rooms. Bulk buy. You don't buy one package of tissue for the living room, bathroom, kitchen, and backpack, y'know?

    No insurance, no prescription, no ID. I walk up and buy it and they don't know who I am and don't ask questions. If I want ridiculously awesome global health insurance that covers all of the world but the US, it's about $5000 a year.

    I live in a city of 20 million with an average life expectancy of 81.95. I can order my inhaler on an app on my phone for $4.50 and have it delivered within 2 hours.

    Pitchforks up.
    posted by saysthis at 4:36 PM on June 22 [28 favorites]


    Axios Don't expect House to water down Russia sanctions
    three House Republican sources involved in the process tell me the House bill is shaping up to look very similar to the Iran-Russia sanctions bill that passed the Senate. And it's likely to move pretty fast. House Speaker Paul Ryan wants tough sanctions on Russia, as does Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce, who is driving the process.[...]

    The big question: will President Trump risk using his veto pen on this legislation if it passes as originally written? Most GOP sources I've spoken to doubt it. While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the administration needs more flexibility to over the Russia-Ukraine conflict — and believes the new sanctions package is unhelpful to that end — Trump can't risk getting his veto overridden by Congress. It looks like there'd be more than enough votes to do so, given the Senate voted 98-2 in favor of the original sanctions package.


    I live in a city of 20 million with an average life expectancy of 81.95. I can order my inhaler on an app on my phone for $4.50 and have it delivered within 2 hours.

    It is astonishing how Americans have been screwed out of affordable health care that most of the world takes for granted.
    posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:46 PM on June 22 [41 favorites]


    And labor protection, and human rights, and equality under the law. We are not a first world nation, except for the top 20%, who can afford to slightly insulate themselves. The top 1% are vampire squids wrapped around the life giving capital artery, and they do not care if we die. In fact, they'd be happier if we die, and decreased the surplus population.
    posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:59 PM on June 22 [33 favorites]


    Just saw a picture of Melania at the picnic. She's wearing a sleeveless dress. Let's hope she doesn't have to go inside the congressional building for anything.
    posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:01 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    In fact, they'd be happier if we die, and decreased the surplus population.

    But who will clean their toilets and staff their mansions? You know, until robot staff are invented.
    posted by Talez at 5:02 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    The biggest newspaper in two red states comes out against the Senate bill and its Medicaid cuts.

    The Kansas City Star editorial board: Medicaid cuts would be a devastating blow for rural America
    posted by chris24 at 5:03 PM on June 22 [35 favorites]


    And labor protection, and human rights, and equality under the law. We are not a first world nation, except for the top 20%, who can afford to slightly insulate themselves. The top 1% are vampire squids wrapped around the life giving capital artery, and they do not care if we die. In fact, they'd be happier if we die, and decreased the surplus population.
    posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:59 AM on June 23 [+] [!]


    FWIW, I'm in China. Not a first world nation either, and also ruled by a vampire overclass.

    But, y'know...it's the difference between being ruled by grifters and the Blood God.
    posted by saysthis at 5:06 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]




    a picture of Melania at the picnic.

    Does he ever not mug? Even if he wasn't a monster he'd be repulsive.
    posted by readery at 5:18 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    I was just in the shitter in a serious way with the AHCA bill and the fact that it's once again Satan's Ass Crack in Philly.

    And in the parking lot to our apartment building, there's one wheelchair accessible parking spot. Somebody was there, very mobile in her vigorous unpacking of shit, and so my SO dropped me off at the door, NBD, but I have this policy of letting people to know that monopolizing the space was Not Cool and I try to do so in a way that lets the person, you know, save face, be like, oh, okay, sorry.

    And--this is the second time in two days in two different occasions this has happened to me, with able bodied people using disabled parking spaces and being all, "I'll be out of here in ten minutes." In this hostile why-are-you-acting-entitled way. You fellow disabled folks know that tone, I bet.

    And maybe this explains, together with the awful politics, why, my friends, when I looked out the window of my apartment, after I'd given my little light lecture, to see this asshole taking a disabled placard from a friend so she could go on unloading her stuff, I entered a space of just rage.

    Well, she moved her damn car before the cops got there and then proceeded to lie about the whole damn thing, and, as I sputtered, the cop was like 'well you little ladies can just stop arguing now the car is gone' I felt so fucking impotent. And the friend who loaned her the placard as camouflage was all 'I'm an advocate for the disabled so how can you be angry at me.' It's like, you loaned your disabled placard for your friend? You know better? Why are you talking right now?

    But--I was neither witty nor calm in that moment. I looked at this white blonde lady in her fancy car and I was So. Angry. At this stupid country, represented by this woman who was laughing at sweaty screeching trembling me.

    And it struck me that the feeling of utter impotence I felt at that moment was of a piece with what I feel about politics today. I will fight until I'm dead, I guess, I always knew that, but I'd hoped that I'd be fighting with grace. If the cops ever drag me out of my wheelchair, it won't be graceful. I wasn't graceful with this lady today.

    But maybe the grace is inherent within the continuation of the fight.
    posted by angrycat at 5:29 PM on June 22 [136 favorites]


    I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the KC Star as "the biggest newspaper in 2 red states" - it may be surrounded by red, but KC proper is pretty blue, and the Star is definitely so. Or, at least , mostly not red.
    posted by jferg at 5:30 PM on June 22


    Oh, angrycat, I'm so sorry. Jfc.
    posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:36 PM on June 22 [14 favorites]


    by any reasonable definition, the republican party is a party of radical terrorists
    posted by entropicamericana at 5:51 PM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    NBC: Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told House investigators Thursday that President Trump seemed obsessed with the Russia probe and repeatedly asked him to say publicly there was no evidence of collusion, a U.S. official familiar with the conversation told NBC News.

    Even some of the people hand-picked* by Trump are willing to admit that he is flaming garbage.

    * in theory
    posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:56 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    It strikes me that party loyalty has become so paramount that some Senators are ready to sacrifice the well-being of their own constituents in order to vote in lock step with the Republicans. The terrible effects of this bill on states like Ohio and West Virginia would make a reasonable person think those Senators--who are meant to represent the best interests of the people back at home-- could not possibly vote for this bill. I think 30 or 40 years they would not vote for something so damaging to their state, yet here we are.
    posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:01 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]


    I can think of a senator from West Virginia who will vote against this abomination.
    posted by Justinian at 6:02 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    Only because it's not horrible -enough-.
    posted by jferg at 6:07 PM on June 22


    some Senators are ready to sacrifice the well-being of their own constituents in order to vote in lock step with the Republicans.

    And their own children's and grandchildrens' wellbeing, if you factor in global warming. I have been at a loss for a while regarding their stupid self-destructiveness and have to keep assuming we are dealing with a cultlike delusion here.

    The impulse that made some poor souls castrate themselves, put on identical clothes, and take poison so a comet could take them away doesn't seem any different from the impulse that moves Republicans to literally burn the future down, hurt themselves, and hurt their country in search of yet more tax cuts.

    It's not really about money they way most of us understand it, as a necessity--none of the people funding this madness would suffer in any way from paying those taxes, or even many more taxes. They will remain unimaginably safe and comfortable and wealthy. They are in no danger. But they are in the grip of a mania, a delusion, about taxes being the ultimate evil and they're going to try to take us all down with them pursuing that delusion.

    Like a lot of evils, it would be funny and absurd, if only so many people didn't end up dead.
    posted by emjaybee at 6:18 PM on June 22 [20 favorites]


    I just feel so impotent and sad. One of my senators is already fighting the good fight on this, vigorously. The other one helped write this turd (in conclusion, Pennsylvania is a land of contrasts). Neither one is movable one way or the other here, so I just sit and seethe.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 6:21 PM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    Hey did you know it's the Democrats' fault this has to be done in haste and secret? Turns out, it's only because the Dems "refused to participate in the process". Yeah. Cornyn, of course.
    About 5:00 in this video
    posted by ctmf at 6:33 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Dino Grandoni, WaPo: 'How else can a Kenyan creampuff get ahead?’ is just one of the disturbing tweets sent by this Trump Energy Department agency head
    Before William C. Bradford was appointed by the Trump administration to run the Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy, he tweeted a slew of disparaging remarks about the real and imagined ethnic, religious and gender identities of former president Barack Obama, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, TV news host Megan Kelly and Japanese Americans during World War II.

    Bradford was recently appointed director of DOE’s office in charge of assisting Native American and Alaska Native tribes and villages with energy development. Before joining the department, he was attorney general of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. He has also been a faculty member at the U.S. Military Academy, the National Defense University, the Coast Guard Academy, and the United Arab Emirates National Defense College and, according to his online biography on the department’s website, he holds a doctorate, a law degree and a master’s in business administration.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:38 PM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    angrycat, I'm so sorry, and I feel you.

    How many times have we women and minorities felt that helpless, impotent rage in our lives? Knowing that what people will remember is not the event that precipitated our suppressed rage but any sign at all of that anger we displayed. Jeez, what's with them? Why are they reacting that way over such a little thing? Those kinds of people, amirite? Sheesh.

    If we each had a dollar for every time in our lives when we've felt that rage and we pooled those dollars together, as a group, we'd be part of the 1% of the 1%. Sending you positive and peaceful vibes.
    posted by lord_wolf at 6:43 PM on June 22 [14 favorites]


    So what has happened to the threat of a filibuster? Are the dems just counting on the reluctant republicans to vote no? if that's the case i wouldn't be surprised to learn that all of these (R) "no"s are just a head fake to make the dems not filibuster.
    posted by OHenryPacey at 6:45 PM on June 22


    It won't only not be a surprise, I basically expect it. There is no such thing as a moderate Republican anymore, there's just people who express a lot of concern and doubt but then still vote party line 100% of the time.

    I'll take their claimed concerns seriously when they actually start diverging from being in lock-step (goose-step) formation with the Trump agenda by even an inch.
    posted by tocts at 6:49 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    What filibuster? They're doing this under reconciliation. There is no filibuster.
    posted by zachlipton at 6:49 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


    So what has happened to the threat of a filibuster?

    You can't filibuster bills passed by reconciliation.
    posted by Justinian at 6:50 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Ahhhh, the fact that there were no committees involved had me confused.
    posted by OHenryPacey at 6:52 PM on June 22


    They can "Filibuster by amendment" by introducing so many amendments that it gums up the works for weeks, but that's a procedural trick that might be circumvented just by changing the rules, so it's risky to try and even riskier to let on that you're going to do it before you do.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 6:54 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    What, you think regular order should be used to revamp 1/6th of the economy? Why do you hate America?
    posted by Justinian at 6:54 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    Has anyone read or heard anything about attempts to strip out the abortion stuff as not being in compliance with the rules for reconciliation? When does the Byrd bath stuff happen?
    posted by Justinian at 7:02 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Oh hey look, Bernie Sanders is coming to do a health care rally here on Saturday.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 7:05 PM on June 22


    That won't happen until the bill is actually on the floor, technically it's a point of order that must be raised, then the parliamentarian will rule, and generally that should be that. Unless McConnell tries shenanigans.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 7:07 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    He may well try shenanigans but its important to make him do it. Don't comply in advance, as the rules for fighting authoritarianism say.
    posted by Justinian at 7:12 PM on June 22 [10 favorites]


    but that's a procedural trick that might be circumvented just by changing the rules, so it's risky to try

    We have to get over this thinking. There is nothing less risky. A tool that will be immediately taken away when used is not a tool worth preserving. It is arguably more important to attempt to use it and have it taken away as soon as possible, so that you don't need to allow the opposition party to use it later.
    posted by phearlez at 7:13 PM on June 22 [46 favorites]


    My current talking point re AHCA is "Life expectancies for pretty much all Americans are about to go down." The details don't matter so much as that fact, to me. If it goes through, and isn't removed or replaced, some people will die sooner but everyone is more likely to die younger and get sicker in the meantime.

    My family is not one with a great gene pool, so even with good healthcare I've always known I might not live as long as I'd like. But I did hope I could at least beat my parents and grandparents and make it into my 80s. Now I'm wondering if I should be thinking in a much shorter timeline.
    posted by emjaybee at 7:20 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


    My understanding, which is weak on this point, is that filibustering by amendment isn't as useful as it sounds. Amendments to reconciliation can be discarded if they're non-germane or not revenue neutral. Who decides if an amendment is germane? The chair, meaning whoever McConnell puts in that seat, and it takes 50 votes to overrule the chair, the same as passing the bill.

    I mean, hey, I'll see them try anything, but it is, at best, a trick that drags things out for a little while longer so Democrats can get some last minute news coverage and urge people to call their Senators, and not some kind of magic trick for stopping this.
    posted by zachlipton at 7:27 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


    I think Rand Paul votes against the bill. But I don't see two others. Cruz is talking bullshit; he will obviously vote for it. I assume McConnell will let either Murkowski or Collins vote against it as well. Heller is probably toast either way so he'll vote for it. So who else is there? Johnson, Lee, Portman, and Capito are spineless lickspittles and will fall in line after tiny, meaningless amendments.
    posted by Justinian at 7:33 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    So who else is there?

    Jeff Flake, but he also falls into the Spineless Lickspittle category. I can't see how it doesn't pass either.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 7:41 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    Heller (NV) is a real wildcard right now. Heller is weak for the midterms, and Gov. Sandoval is not exactly what you'd call thrilled about the bill. They may be able to buy him off (please tell me we can call it the Vegas Vig!), but he's in an interesting position. If you live in Nevada, for the love of god please call his office and get everyone you know to do so to the extent humanly possible.
    posted by zachlipton at 7:46 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    ELECTIONS NEWS

    ** NBC poll finds Democrats leading the generic congressional ballot 50-42. That's the largest lead by either party since 2013. In GOP-held seats, it's GOP +11, which sounds good for the GOP, until you consider that GOP-held seats were won by an average of +35.

    ** UT-03 special -- The United Utah Party has filed a suit seeking ballot access in the election for Chaffetz's old seat. The party seems to be pitching itself as a centrist/Third Way choice; their candidate is Jim Bennett, son of former GOP Sen. Bob Bennett.

    ** WI-01 (2018) -- That Randy Bryce ad for the Dem nomination in Paul Ryan's district has gotten a lot of love, but worth noting that Bryce has lost multiple elections in the past few years. The race has at least two other candidates, activist David Yankovich and Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers.

    ** SD Sen (2018) -- Dems have a tough row to hoe in 2018, but it's been notable how much trouble the GOP has had in recruiting good candidates. ND would normally be a good pickup opportunity for GOP. Dem Senator Heidi Heitkamp has not yet publicly committed to run again, but has raised $1.6M in Q117 (i.e., she's running). And top GOP choice Rep. Kevin Cramer has continued to waffle about whether to get in or not, and has made some dumb comments of late. The longer Cramer waits, the tougher it is for someone else to jump in - you really want a year of campaigning for a Senate seat.
    posted by Chrysostom at 7:47 PM on June 22 [39 favorites]


    East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "Remember when Trump promised he was going to launch a probe into election fraud? Kinda wish he'd hurry up with that..."

    There IS one, it's just not interested in addressing actual concerns, but rather faking up stuff to exclude voters. It's led by alleged "human being" Kris Kobach. Plenty more here, if you want to be nauseated.
    posted by Chrysostom at 8:19 PM on June 22 [9 favorites]


    Democrats really should pull out the stops to do everything they can to gum up the works. The healthcare reconciliation bill expires in September and then they will need 60 votes to do anything.
    posted by JackFlash at 8:40 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


    T.D. Strange: "Let's not forget Republicans also don't fear election consequences because they've managed to pervert democracy into a situation where they can win absolute majority control without winning a majority of votes on any level."

    I absolutely take your larger point, but the GOP *did* win an actual majority of House votes this last time: 63,173,815 to 61,776,554. Of course, gerrymandering then blew that into a much larger majority.
    posted by Chrysostom at 8:46 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


    (A ridiculous amount of) evening reading:

    Bloomberg's graphical healthcare explainer
    has expanded, now with graphs. And here's a good chart from John Graves as Vanderbilt that shows how much coverage the BCRA [which we're apparently pronouncing bic-rah, because the worst thing in the worst timeline of course gets the worst name] buys you as compared to other ways to get health insurance (unsurprisingly, it's the worst).

    One thing that frightens me is that the Republicans learned their lesson from the House bill and arranged the most severe cuts to Medicaid so that they'll hit outside the 10-year budget window that the CBO looks at. This may mean the top level "N million people losing coverage" number will be a lot better than the 23 million we had in the House (and certainly better than the "14 million people lose coverage next year" number we had there), but the end effect is actually going to be even worse for Medicaid over the long term, because the Senate bill would only allow Medicaid to grow at the rate of general urban inflation. In case you haven't noticed somehow, health care costs grow by quite a but more than that, and while that's slowly starting to improve, that's still going to happen. What this bill does is tell poor people that their health care costs can only rise at the same rate as, say, grocery prices, while wealthier people still get health care that grows at 5%+/year.

    Tfw when basically the last Republican health policy guy on the planet who has some vague interest in at least some people getting heatlh care praises the Senate bill as "the greatest policy achievement by a GOP Congress in my lifetime" and only later realizes they eliminated the individual mandate and didn't replace it with any incentive to stay covered. Do you want a death spiral? Because that's how you get a death spiral.

    Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s bluff is called, revealing another self-inflicted legal wound. In short: does threatening Comey with non-existent tapes pose a legal problem for the President? It certainly doesn't help his case.

    David Remnick: Who in the White House Will Turn Against Donald Trump?
    Veteran Washington reporters tell me that they have never observed this kind of anxiety, regret, and sense of imminent personal doom among White House staffers—not to this degree, anyway. These troubled aides seem to think that they can help their own standing by turning on those around them—and that by retailing information anonymously they will be able to live with themselves after serving a President who has proved so disconnected from the truth and reality.
    KHN: Promises Made To Protect Preexisting Conditions Prove Hollow
    Senate Republicans praised the Affordable Care Act replacement bill they presented Thursday as preserving coverage for people with cancer, mental illness and other chronic illness.

    But the legislation may do no such thing, according to health law experts who have read it closely.
    Politico: The Senate majority leader doesn’t have the votes yet. But if anyone can get them, it’s him.
    Thune added that a more dire argument is beginning to circulate among Republican leaders.

    “If we don’t get this done and we end up with Democratic majorities in ‘18, we’ll have single payer. That’s what we’ll be dealing with,” Thune said.
    Craig Silverman: Macedonian Publishers Are Panicking After Facebook Killed Their US Political Pages, in which Silverman gets to pull off the rare trick of quoting one of his sources calling him an asshole.

    Foreign Policy: Not Dazed, but Definitely Confused: Allies Struggle to Divine U.S. Policy: "On trade, climate, foreign aid, and more, America’s allies wonder what U.S. policy is — and who, if anyone, can take America’s place."
    It’s not that diplomats can’t meet with relevant officials from the administration — several say access has actually increased under Trump. It’s that those meetings often end with more questions than answers. That makes it hard to dispel the unease and concern that gripped many U.S. allies during last year’s presidential campaign, when President Donald Trump tore up the U.S. foreign-policy playbook and has yet to find a new one.

    “Even if we do get meetings” with the Department of State, a European source told Foreign Policy, “most of the time what happens is that they speak in personal capacity — they don’t have capacity to speak for the administration.”

    The same is true for the National Security Council at the White House, “including on very sensitive issues.” People say, “I cannot speak for the president, because I’m not sure what his position on this is.”
    NBC: House Democrats, Looking Ahead to 2018, Pledge to Prioritize Voting Rights
    House Democrats introduced legislation Thursday to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act while pledging to make the issue of voting rights a priority if the party wins in 2018.
    ...
    Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while calling on her GOP colleagues to make it a bipartisan measure, said the bill "will be introduced on the very first day" Democrats regain control of the House in 2018.

    “We want people to understand they have the right to vote and their vote will be counted and counted as cast. Many people sacrificed so much for the right to vote in our country,” Pelosi said. "You have our commitment that this will become the law when we become the majority and we want it to become the law even before then."
    The first part of the Fox & Friends interview with Trump drops tomorrow morning, and based on this question, I'm not expecting much journalism. Speaking of not much journalism, Spicer will brief off-camera tomorrow.
    posted by zachlipton at 8:46 PM on June 22 [39 favorites]


    I was very pleased to see Pelosi mention first day bills on voting rights. I think they should be formulating a list of stuff they will immediately be passing as a campaign tactic - it certainly worked for the Contract With America.
    posted by Chrysostom at 8:49 PM on June 22 [10 favorites]


    One more: Brian Stelter—Why are these White House briefings heard but not seen?, because this bit from Jay Rosen nails it:
    New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen said he disagreed with Kirby's assertion that the administration is hurting itself by avoiding questions from reporters.

    "That's true only if you assume that Trump is trying to win the argument, persuade the doubters, or gain the approval of a greater percentage of the public," Rosen told CNN. "What if he's not? In campaigns you can quit trying to reach the undecided and just focus on turning out the base. Trump seems to have taken this approach to governing... It's time we saw the decay in communications as a feature of the Trump presidency, not a bug."
    It's permanent campaign mode, and there's absolutely no concession to the idea that governing is any different from campaigning.
    posted by zachlipton at 9:10 PM on June 22 [23 favorites]


    haha I wish I had seen this, via @brentbutt:

    On CNN:
    [Jason] Miller: "Of course they're not going to share their plan with the other side."
    [Jason] Kander: "These aren't war plans, its health care."
    posted by lalex at 9:18 PM on June 22 [82 favorites]


    What's funny about today is how blasé pundits on MSNBC today were about the president legally tripping over his tiny dick again regarding obstructing ongoing investigions. It's like a baseline now that he's committing obstruction on a daily basis. Impeachable offenses are little more background radiation while the healthcare debate rages! New normal never is.
    posted by Burhanistan at 9:25 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


    Democrats really should pull out the stops to do everything they can to gum up the works. The healthcare reconciliation bill expires in September and then they will need 60 votes to do anything.
    posted by JackFlash at 12:40 PM on June 23 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


    THIS SO LOUD I'M IN CAPSLOCK.
    posted by saysthis at 9:33 PM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    I find it almost incomprehensible that Republicans would pass this bill. They know how horrible this is polling and that taking away social services from people is political suicide. The big problem for Republicans is that they've attacked Obamacare from the left for 8 years. They complained that it made healthcare too expensive and that it didn't cover enough people. They said that it was too confusing and bureaucratic. Their own President is on record as praising single payer systems in other countries and promising that everyone will have really great coverage. Well, now they are in a position where anything they do other than implement single payer will piss off their own supporters. Republican voters will see anything they do as a betrayal. Maybe not now but in a few years when entire families are destroyed by this, yes.

    They could pass the bill and all retire with golden parachutes as lobbyists, fox newscasters, or think tank specialists. Of course, if they do this Democrats will just overturn the law and probably pass single payer within the next 10 years.

    They could pass such a shitty and destructive bill that they convince Democrats to jump in later and help them rebuild healthcare, but instead of compromising from Obamacare, Democrats are forced to negotiate up from almost nothing. The "bipartisan" process effectively ends debate on healthcare for a generation.

    They could fail with this bill to make the radicals calm down and then pass something else. In a sane world they would pass Obamacare, call it Trumpcare, find some Democrats to sign off on it, and declare victory for everyone.

    But honestly, what is their plan? They are boxed in by their own lies.
    posted by Glibpaxman at 9:42 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]




    I just feel so impotent and sad. One of my senators is already fighting the good fight on this, vigorously. The other one helped write this turd (in conclusion, Pennsylvania is a land of contrasts). Neither one is movable one way or the other here, so I just sit and seethe.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 20:21 on June 22 [8 favorites +] [!]


    Missouri here. I feel you.
    posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:52 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


    Yeah, my senators are a maggot in a skin suit and Ted Cruz. Although I may have the evil bastards mixed up again.
    posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:06 PM on June 22 [21 favorites]


    I've seen a lot of precise estimates of the number of people who will lose coverage with AHCA, and lots of generic claims that "people will die," but I rarely see precise numbers on how many will be killed. Is that because it's considered gauche or not cricket to mention such things, or because Democrats are somehow still afraid of being pilloried for any perceived imprecision in the estimate? There seems to be pretty solid data on this, with a tight range of estimates from 20,000-50,000 deaths a year if 20 million lose coverage (1 2 3).¹ It seems odd that I never seem to hear these numbers though, even in fiery speeches like Warren's today. Are Democrats still too timid to say, "This vote will likely kill at least 20,000 Americans a year, many of them children. You, Senator, will be directly responsible for murdering over 100,000 Americans over the next decade if you vote for this bill."

    ¹ For counter-arguments, see for instance 4 and 5. They are imho much weaker and mainly consist of throwing chaff and uncertainty, though both are also notable for a tutting assumption that Democrats are being childishly inflammatory in assuming Republicans would actually pass a bill removing coverage for 20 million Americans.
    posted by chortly at 10:06 PM on June 22 [13 favorites]


    "It occurs to me that the witches and magic workers who are doing Trump binding spells, ought to do McConnell binding spells as well."

    Covered. The spell specifically also mentions:
    "And bind, too,
    All those who enable his wickedness
    And those whose mouths speak his poisonous lies"


    "I find it almost incomprehensible that Republicans would pass this bill. They know how horrible this is polling and that taking away social services from people is political suicide."

    Serious not-snarking question: IS IT these days, though? If Trump can just shoot anyone he wants and get away with it, why can't the Republicans kill 23-24 million people and get away with that? So far they get away with everything they pull.
    posted by jenfullmoon at 10:09 PM on June 22 [11 favorites]


    I find it almost incomprehensible that Republicans would pass this bill. They know how horrible this is polling and that taking away social services from people is political suicide.

    I think we're going to find that this isn't the case, not nearly as much as we think it is, and I think that's what the Republicans in Congress have figured as well. If Republican voters were turned off by Republican policies directly hurting them while only benefiting the rich, well, there wouldn't be any elected Republicans in the government today. We know that, whatever noise people raise, those who have been voting R will keep voting R, because that's what they did the last time Republicans punched them in the face economically, and it's what they did the time before that too. It's frustrating and we've had a lot of debate about why it works that way, exactly, but I bet we're going to find out that it works that way again.
    posted by IAmUnaware at 10:10 PM on June 22 [22 favorites]


    People will convince themselves it's not actually awful. Or they will convince themselves the bill was only bad because of "the Democrat" stubbornness. Or something. Tribalism and group affiliation is strong. Also the Republicans are not so stupid that all the provisions will take effect immediately, so it won't be as apparent what it's going to do until closer to the mid-terms or even after.
    posted by R343L at 10:19 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]




    t's frustrating and we've had a lot of debate about why it works that way, exactly, but I bet we're going to find out that it works that way again.

    I have zero doubt that it will work that way for a good chunk of the Republican base, some of whom aren't capable of thinking about policy, some of whom are but see policies that fuck over poor people as justice, some for whom all they have in life is their pride no matter how misplaced it is and they're not going to let someone talk down to them no matter how much they know, some of whom see the world in ideological terms pure and simple, some of whom have the usual strange mix of human non-reasons that seem plausible to them, etc etc.

    There have got to be some on the margins this will affect and give pause to, though.
    posted by wildblueyonder at 12:09 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]


    If you look back, the original polling on the ACA was not bad. It only went down after a relentless GOP campaign to tar it as the worst thing ever. We need the same thing in reverse. Yes, we're fighting tribalism, which has only gotten worse over the past decade. We do have the advantages of even initial polling being lousy, and of the AHCA *actually* having a terrible impact ("600 hospitals closed, 22 million people with no insurance", etc.

    The Dems need to go full Cato the Elder and end every message with, "Ceterum censeo AHCA esse delendam."
    posted by Chrysostom at 12:49 AM on June 23 [11 favorites]


    People will convince themselves it's not actually awful. Or they will convince themselves the bill was only bad because of "the Democrat" stubbornness. Or something. Tribalism and group affiliation is strong. Also the Republicans are not so stupid that all the provisions will take effect immediately, so it won't be as apparent what it's going to do until closer to the mid-terms or even after.
    posted by R343L at 2:19 PM on June 23 [2 favorites +] [!]


    You know that thing I posted about living in a city of 20 million with a life expectancy of 81.95 and getting Ventolin (the ozone-killing kind, i.e. the Mexican Ventolin, the stuff that gets in your lungs good, but that US drug companies had banned on an environmental pretense because fuck you (there seems to be a legit reason for not because CFC's but)) delivered to my door for $4.50, and bulk buying for $3.37 a pop like it was Kleenex without insurance or an ID or even a question about why so many? In China, a non-developed country? I'm in Beijing. The Big Smog, the Smokey Apple, the Lung Cancer Capital of Neverland, and where global Cadillac health insurance is $5000 USD a year, but if you want the US-inclusive version it's 5 times that.

    Let's lay it down. Living costs are lower because it IS a developing country, but the average individual wage in central Beijing, where I live, is the same as Portugal, or 3/4 of the US average. I'm not in a poor area. The migrants are around, but in short supply, and getting paid close to the average...it's the pensioners, with the so-called universal health insurance and supposedly relatives in the city (they check for hukou now), who get the min-wage public street sweeping jobs here. 2/3+ of city residents own a car despite the ridiculous 100%+ tax on imported cars and not so ridiculous license plate lottery, but old ones got grandfathered and you can buy one for $8000+ if you really must drive now (oh and your car is banned from the roads if more than 13 years old because emissions standards, because fuck you, and no, they're not corruptible unless you can throw down $100k USD for every corrupt interaction, and such people number in the low ten thousands because serious, serious crackdowns). Home ownership is limited to two per person, and if you're not a Chinese citizen, one and you have to live there. Checks aren't onerous, but penalties are, goodbye to six months wages if they catch you. Gas prices are capped, but personal income tax and sales tax is commensurate with the US, and the vast majority of the government's tax revenue is drawn from a) onerous regulations on corporate registry, b) onerous regulations on corporate tracking, and c) onerous taxes on transactions that must be proved before they can receive any sort of legal protection. Yes, political restrictions, blah blah, they only enforce that if you organize effectively. Public transit is amazing.

    What I'm trying to say is, imagine an environment where the average human who isn't trying to overthrow the government and who just wants to survive can get along. These people built it, and they capped and regulated most of the big ticket pressures/bubble possibilities Americans blow through their paychecks on. It's not paradise by any stretch, but it's an environment that is straight up absent all the Republican levers, and here, my lifesaving medication is $3.37 a pop (lasts me 2 months), rent for this 4br 200sqm downtown apartment is $2000/mo. and locked in to a 5% increase per year for 3 years (I have roommates, my bill is $600-ish a month + $50 utilities, agency fee was a month's rent, no key fees/finder's fees), and the most devastating life-destroying cancer without insurance will set you back $40,000 a year, from multiple anecdotes, including my ex-wife's father which I was there for, and the doctor studied at Mayo. Credit checks are...being contemplated, but still mostly non-existent. I'm literally downtown in the capital of the second largest economy on earth.

    Forgive me for going on at length about this, but i'm trying to say, what are the results you're getting? "Cause over here, (oh and hey, no police brutality issues (and you know the qualifier on that is "political crimes", but the vast majority don't commit those, aside from that they don't have guns and don't get randomly shitty with you, they're actually nice most of the time), military adventurism, or no cell/bank account service BS) even vaguely in the global middle class, you live right. "Living well", that's up to interpretation, but you get what you need to be okay.

    Extra icing? I was in Chongqing recently, purely because I had nothing to do and plane tickets were $50 (off season, but it's hundreds of miles away with crap rail connections), and it was grittier, but I talked to people, living costs are a third of Beijing. Chongqing is a bigger city than Beijing with much more challenging architecture and history, and I mean, I know I'm visibly white, but I hang out with gritty types, people who've been to jail and who actively avoid the police, people without diplomas who have met the system and been ground down, I sleep on their couches, and they are appalled by my stories of America.

    Is that what you're getting? What is the system you live in? I believe in the American experiment, freedom of speech & association, democracy, freedom from thoughtcrime worry, etc. But, if you believe me, even half believe me, will you please jump out of the boiling pot and call your Congress-people and tell them to stop screwing you (and if you have, here's some new talking points, best I could bang out in an hour)? Will you please tell your friends how far we've fallen behind? We can do better than this. Please, let's do better than China. I've done the experiment, and we failed, and that's why I'm here, not home. Twice the wealth...and what are our outcomes? Resist.
    posted by saysthis at 1:52 AM on June 23 [57 favorites]


    Re: the wheelchair activists

    Aside from dragging people from their wheelchairs (no) it's el sucko that people in chairs are getting their hands cuffed. Like, I understand, you get arrested, the cuffs go on, but here's the problem: if you have your hands behind your back, it's harder to do pressure relief. That's sort of essential to life. Pressure ulcers can develop very quickly. One landed me in the hospital after I developed septicemia.

    So, as an afterthought, those dragged from their chairs were also taken away from their cushions, which is an important point. My cushion costs a few hundred and I spent that money because I need the cushion to not develop ulcers.

    So insensate, paralyzed folks were taken from their wheelchairs, cuffed, and put down probably not on downy pillows.

    I'm planning on engaging in protests in about a week, so this sort of thing is personally concerning to me. Also concerned about the wheelchair activists who might be in jail.
    posted by angrycat at 2:09 AM on June 23 [67 favorites]


    Thread about using Tinder to motivate voters.
    posted by Chrysostom at 2:29 AM on June 23


    Fucking Joe Scarborough on MSNBC is lauding the supposed fact that the Comey→Rosenstein→Mueller investigation indicates that American institutions are working as intended, blah blah blah 1776 something.

    No, it's only because the country's fascists rallied around the most buffoonishly incompetent would-be dictator that he's even met with the minimal institutional friction he has against things like openly declaring an intention to round up people by the millions.
    posted by XMLicious at 3:27 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


    This entire article is amazing. If you handed it to someone who just woke up from a two-year-long coma, they'd immediately go back into another coma. WaPo—Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker: Trump is struggling to stay calm on Russia, one morning call at a time
    President Trump has a new morning ritual. Around 6:30 a.m. on many days — before all the network news shows have come on the air — he gets on the phone with a member of his outside legal team to chew over all things Russia.

    The calls — detailed by three senior White House officials — are part strategy consultation and part presidential venting session, during which Trump’s lawyers and public-relations gurus take turns reviewing the latest headlines with him. They also devise their plan for battling his avowed enemies: the special counsel leading the Russia investigation; the “fake news” media chronicling it; and, in some instances, the president’s own Justice Department overseeing the probe.

    His advisers have encouraged the calls — which the early-to-rise Trump takes from his private quarters in the White House residence — in hopes that he can compartmentalize the widening Russia investigation. By the time the president arrives for work in the Oval Office, the thinking goes, he will no longer be consumed by the Russia probe that he complains hangs over his presidency like a darkening cloud.

    It rarely works, however. Asked whether the tactic was effective, one top White House adviser paused for several seconds and then just laughed.
    posted by zachlipton at 3:42 AM on June 23 [64 favorites]


    Ugh. Just heard Toomey on NPR saying that he pledged to the people of Pennsylvania that he'd repeal Obamacare and he supports this bill.
    posted by octothorpe at 3:51 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


    From the above article:

    Some in the White House fret over what they view as the president’s fits of rage, and Trump’s longtime friends say his mood has been more sour than at any point since they have known him. They privately worry about his health, noting that he appears to have gained weight in recent months and that the darkness around his eyes reveals his stress.

    . . . .

    “What’s playing out is a psychological drama, not just a political drama or a legal drama,” said Peter Wehner, who was an aide in George W. Bush’s White House and has frequently been critical of Trump. “The president’s psychology is what’s driving so much of this, and it’s alarming because it shows a lack of self-control, a tremendous tropism. . . . He seems to draw psychic energy from creating chaos and disorder.”

    can somebody make a 25th amendment jingle? Twenty-fifth a-mend-ment, twenty-fifth a-mend-ment (bows to Greg Nog)
    posted by angrycat at 3:55 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


    Some in the White House fret over what they view as the president’s fits of rage, and Trump’s longtime friends say his mood has been more sour than at any point since they have known him. They privately worry about his health, noting that he appears to have gained weight in recent months and that the darkness around his eyes reveals his stress.

    It really is like Hitler's last days.
    Like everyone said before the election, he is temperamentally unfit to be president. It's sad that so many Americans ignored that information.
    posted by mumimor at 4:15 AM on June 23 [24 favorites]


    He'll never be removed with the 25th Amendment unless he falls into a coma or is otherwise completely incapacitated. Being a rageaholic narcissistic manbaby isn't going to do it; we knew that before he was elected.

    Besides, they need Trump in there to sign the AHCA, tax "reform", and whatever other giant shitburgers they can get passed in the next 2 years and then, when the economy and/or society goes to pieces, they can blame Trump and say he wasn't actually a real Republican. Pence is a conservative Republican through and through so he can't serve as a scapegoat in the same fashion.
    posted by Justinian at 4:19 AM on June 23 [6 favorites]


    It really is like Hitler's last days.

    Except for whose side the Russians are on
    posted by thelonius at 4:25 AM on June 23 [36 favorites]


    I've done the experiment, and we failed, and that's why I'm here, not home. Twice the wealth...and what are our outcomes? Resist.

    For most of my life I've viewed the US with a mixture of awe and disdain. A feeling of kinship, friendly competition, envy and trust.

    That feeling is gone. Now, the US scares and depresses me. People I visit live in gated compounds or apartment complexes, talking to robots so they can avoid going out into the streets, because in the streets, so many people have missing teeth, even missing limbs, and it's scary, because they might shout at you or worse. People work 60, 80 hours a week to pay hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars for basic services like housing, healthcare, security, and education, spend more time in a terrible commute, then relax in front of enormous displays, where they play games where they beat people up or watch videos showing people beat each other up. And everywhere is menace: food and drink that assaults you, cars that look like they want to attack you, a police force that looks like an army, while the army fights endless wars...

    What the fuck happened to you man? You used to be beautiful. Resist.
    posted by dmh at 4:28 AM on June 23 [48 favorites]


    Just heard Toomey on NPR saying that he pledged to the people of Pennsylvania that he'd repeal Obamacare and he supports this bill.

    Well, he did help write it.

    I've been focusing my energies elsewhere lately because Toomey is like talking to a brick wall. He's like a caricature of a politician.
    posted by soren_lorensen at 4:40 AM on June 23 [9 favorites]


    the Senate bill would only allow Medicaid to grow at the rate of general urban inflation. In case you haven't noticed somehow, health care costs grow by quite a but more than that

    On NPR yesterday afternoon, alleged professional journalist Kelly McEvers didn't notice when John Thune slipped this bit of dishonesty past her:
    MCEVERS: You talk about making Medicaid sustainable. But what the bill does is it cuts Medicaid pretty dramatically so that states will have to pay a lot of the money or cut services if they can. And this is happening as baby boomers are retiring. Many of them will depend on Medicaid for nursing-home care, long-term care. How will they get the coverage they need?

    THUNE: Well, Medicaid in this plan continues to grow year over year at the rate of inflation. And, yes, there are more people who are, you know, reaching retirement age, which obviously puts more of a burden on our, you know, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. But we also have seen firsthand what states have done in coming up with innovative ideas that have saved a lot of money. There are lots of examples around the country where they work and partner with insurance providers and also health care providers to come up with a way of managing care so that you bring down costs.
    McEvers neither pointed out that the inflation rate the bill is tied to is general inflation, not medical inflation, so the Senate bill represents a year-over-year funding cut in real dollars.

    And when Thune claimed that there are "lots of examples" of saving money (other than, of course, taking away health insurance), McEvers didn't say "name one."

    (Again, it's astonishing to me that Marketplace is allowing itself to be more candid about this dog's breakfast of a bill than NPR.)

    Feh.
    posted by Gelatin at 5:03 AM on June 23 [29 favorites]


    Hi, just catching up, great thread everybody. Please pardon the capslock, it's on "memeify" setting

    DONALD TRUMP'S WAR ON THE SICK AND THE POOR

    okay it's a little stark, but stark times, right? Also directing it to Trump instead of Congress/AHCA serves several purpoii, and plus additionally also mostly it rhymes. Which, unless movies and TV have lied to me, is the hallmark of truism.

    Also my fu-gle shows the .com is available and only one tweet with that wording, so the ground is ready.

    posted by petebest at 5:06 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


    Obamas secret struggle to Punish Russia for Putin's election assault (Washington Post) by Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entrous

    So much in here, but read to the end about the cyber operation Obama put in place (that it sounds like Trump doesn't know about):
    The cyber operation is still in its early stages and involves deploying “implants” in Russian networks deemed “important to the adversary and that would cause them pain and discomfort if they were disrupted,” a former U.S. official said.
    posted by rainydayfilms at 5:08 AM on June 23 [22 favorites]


    The GOP bill is obviously the important thing of the day and we must not take our eyes off that, but Trump on Fox & Friends this morning about Comey is impressive even for him in its word saladness:

    “I didn’t tape him, you never know what’s happening, when you see what the Obama Administration, and perhaps longer than that, was doing, all of this unmasking and surveillance and you read all about it and I’ve been reading about it the last couple of months, about the seriousness of the and the horrible situation with surveillance all over the place. You been hearing the word unmasking, a word you’ve probably never heard before, so you never know what’s out there and I didn’t tape and I don’t have any tape and I didn’t tape.

    “But when (Comey) found out that there maybe are tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or who knows, I think his story may have changed and you’ll have to look into that because then he’ll have to tell what happened at the events. And my story didn’t change, my story was always the straight story, my story was always the truth, but you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed. But I did not tape.”

    [Ainsley] Earhardt then gushed, “It was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings.”

    “Well,” said Trump, knowing an opportunity when he sees one, “it wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that. He did admit that what I said was right and, if you look further back before he heard about that, maybe he wasn’t admitting that.”
    posted by bluecore at 5:13 AM on June 23 [16 favorites]


    Christ. W tripped over his words because he was dumb, but at least we could figure out what he meant. This is just nonsensical.
    posted by Faint of Butt at 5:18 AM on June 23 [16 favorites]


    The unhinged twittering about leaky best buds Co-mueller continues, while the American health care zombie makes page four at best.

    I guess to be fair the twitter rants are no longer making front page news either . . .
    posted by aspersioncast at 5:21 AM on June 23


    The Ongoing Legal Battle Over the “Black Bloc” Inauguration Day Protest (New Yorker, Colin Moynihan)
    “When this sort of thing happens on Inauguration Day, it raises a special level of concern,” Michelman said. “People in the future will start thinking, Well do I want to go to this demonstration, or is there a chance somebody’s going to break a window and I’m going to end up getting charged with multiple felonies that could put me away for more than ten years?”
    posted by corb at 5:25 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]


    And now, a brief respite from the world-writ-large in which our very own Rolling Stone, Sir Keith Richards, (not a Sir) from a September Billboard article, offers his take on Il Toupée:

    A conversation with Richards goes a lot of places in a short time. There is virtually nothing he won’t offer an opinion on. Such as:

    Donald Trump: "I do find him refreshing. He’s cut through a lot of crap, and eventually ... well, can you imagine President Trump? The worst nightmare. But we can’t say that. Because it could happen. This is one of the wonders of this country. Who would’ve thought Ronald Reagan could be president?"


    That would be September 2015, more specifically. I was actually looking for something about Trump's baffling use of "You Can't Always Get What You Want", expecting gruel from Thatcherite Jagger, but found this of Keef Keefing it up and it was a nice change for a few minutes.

    The views expressed by Keef are his own and do not reflect the positions of this comment. Specifically with regard to The Dead, Grateful.
    posted by petebest at 5:28 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


    What are the chances that McConnell drove the health care bill to be so reprehensible that other conservatives and the Democratic party kill it on their own, absolving him of blame from the White House?
    posted by ZeusHumms at 6:26 AM on June 23


    What are the chances that McConnell drove the health care bill to be so reprehensible that other conservatives and the Democratic party kill it on their own, absolving him of blame from the White House?

    I think he just *IS* that reprehensible.
    posted by Twain Device at 6:29 AM on June 23 [21 favorites]


    Oop spoke before I saw a physical copy of the Post; I didn't realize how tailored the online edition is.
    posted by aspersioncast at 6:34 AM on June 23


    The fucker is going to pass though.
    posted by Artw at 6:36 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


    Earhardt then gushed, “It was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings.”

    Right, of course, because it's completely rational to imagine the director of the FBI as oblivious to anything so brilliant and ingenious as a really powerful person playing power games by throwing up red herrings and using the digital, in a town so utterly devoid of zillions of people doing stuff like that every second of their working lives. Bet they didn't teach "Shit-hot curveballs from wily reality show stars" at Chicago Law, huh, Mister Top G-Man?
    posted by Rykey at 6:37 AM on June 23 [11 favorites]


    Elegant shade: HUD Pick Took a Different Path From Her Predecessors (NYTimes/ YAMICHE ALCINDOR)
    posted by mumimor at 6:38 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


    If you think we're at peak reprehensible for the Senate, oh my sweet summer child, Ted Cruz has such delights to show you before he will vote Aye
    posted by delfin at 6:43 AM on June 23 [14 favorites]


    The more I think about the chances of this terrible bill passing, I realize we would also have to endure a gleeful Trump at the signing desk going on about how "It's a great bill, we did a great thing, it's going to be great, I'm Mr. Wonderful" and all the other gloating and camera-mugging crap as he signs legislation that will kill so many of us.
    posted by Servo5678 at 7:00 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


    The more I think about the chances of this terrible bill passing, I realize we would also have to endure a gleeful Trump at the signing desk going on about how "It's a great bill, we did a great thing, it's going to be great, I'm Mr. Wonderful" and all the other gloating and camera-mugging crap as he signs legislation that will kill so many of us.

    While vile in the short term, that might actually help us kick these fuckers out in 2018. Let them say on camera how proud they are of the bill. Let them smile like smug, happy assholes.

    And then we cut all those photo ops into one ad: BLAME THE GOP.
    posted by lydhre at 7:04 AM on June 23 [12 favorites]


    The more I think about the chances of this terrible bill passing, I realize we would also have to endure a gleeful Trump at the signing desk going on about how "It's a great bill, we did a great thing, it's going to be great, I'm Mr. Wonderful" and all the other gloating and camera-mugging crap as he signs legislation that will kill so many of us.

    And as the cherry on top, a couple weeks later he moans about how "mean" it is, never having read any of it.
    posted by jason_steakums at 7:06 AM on June 23 [6 favorites]


    East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: Why don't they just stamp NOT REPORTABLE on Donald's forehead and be done with it

    Pay no attention to the man behind the podium!

    Or on Twitter!

    Unless he really means it, then those words stand for themselves.


    Until they don't.
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:13 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]


    Here's what really astonishes me about the Republican healthcare bill: analysts on both sides have repeatedly pointed out that it provides a massive tax cut for the richest Americans—on the backs of the neediest—and the #FuckingRepublicans don't even bother trying to justify it with their usual Invisible-Hand-Job-Creators-Magic-Of-The-Market bullshit.

    They're not even pretending. They don't seem to care about re-election, either, presumably because once they've fulfilled their donors wishes, they can retire to a cushy job with Fox News or a right-wing think tank.

    So much for "compassionate conservatism."
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:14 AM on June 23 [30 favorites]


    Jennifer Rubin, WaPo: Cheer up, Democrats!
    I cannot comprehend anything less productive for Democrats than lashing out at their longtime leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as if she is to blame for not winning a deep-red congressional seat in a special election. (Do they have any evidence for such a connection? Do they not think any replacement would be just as demonized by the GOP?) Frankly, if Republicans did this, Democrats would go after them for misogyny. Democrats were given a gift — if they care to accept it — on Thursday when Republicans helped them turn the page to health care.

    Democrats can have a field day pointing to Republicans’ proposed cuts to health care for the poor and tax breaks to the richest Americans. They can remind voters that millions who earned coverage when Democrats were in charge now will lose it. In search of a “message,” they can come back to the tried and true: Republicans are for the rich, we’re for the working and middle class.
    posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:17 AM on June 23 [56 favorites]


    So much for "compassionate conservatism."

    Yeah but that's like "as light as a runaway freight train"; of course it was always bullshit. Eaten whole and happily by the lever-pullers of the Party of Trump.

    Why can't Democrats be a useful kind of credulous?
    posted by petebest at 7:19 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


    zachlipton: Meanwhile, the House is having a crackdown on sleeveless dresses, which pretty much tells you where we are as a country right now.

    My imaginary headline: HORNY TEENAGE-MINDED BOYS IN HOUSE CAN'T CONTROL ERECTIONS WHEN THEY SEE BARE SHOULDERS

    Once those shoulders are covered up, I bet ankles are next.
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]


    It's still a very weird and discomfiting feeling to agree repeatedly with Jennifer Rubin.
    posted by chris24 at 7:21 AM on June 23 [19 favorites]


    Foreign Policy: Not Dazed, but Definitely Confused: Allies Struggle to Divine U.S. Policy: "On trade, climate, foreign aid, and more, America’s allies wonder what U.S. policy is — and who, if anyone, can take America’s place."

    It's very clear that Trump has no policies, that he doesn't want any policies. On anything. Policies are things that guide you on making decisions on your own without checking with the boss. Trump wants all decisions to flow through him, such is the nature of narcissism. Policies also proscribe actions you shouldn't take. And again, Trump wants the freedom to do whatever the hell he wants in any situation & absolutely doesn't want to be told he can't do something. He wants everyone to check with him before making any decisions & he never wants to be told he can't do something. That's his policy.
    posted by scalefree at 7:27 AM on June 23 [20 favorites]


    The Washington Post has a big new investigative report this morning: Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault.

    There is a lot there, but the biggest new thing that jumped out to me is a much more confident reporting of Putin's personal involvement in the election hacking/disruption:

    The intelligence[, delivered personally to Obama by the CIA in August 2016,] captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

    ...

    The intelligence on Putin was extraordinary on multiple levels, including as a feat of espionage.

    For spy agencies, gaining insights into the intentions of foreign leaders is among the highest priorities. But Putin is a remarkably elusive target. A former KGB officer, he takes extreme precautions to guard against surveillance, rarely communicating by phone or computer, always running sensitive state business from deep within the confines of the Kremlin.

    The Washington Post is withholding some details of the intelligence at the request of the U.S. government.
    When the Russian interference was detailed publicly in December and January, there was basically no evidence provided of the Kremlin's fingerprints (though intelligence officials spoke confidently that the classified version contained this evidence). It appears that the Washington Post has now seen that evidence.
    posted by pjenks at 7:35 AM on June 23 [59 favorites]


    I was just going to second/third that WaPo article. There's also a corresponding podcast with Greg Miller. Still working my way through both.
    posted by rp at 7:40 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]


    The hospital system that I work for sent us a copy of a letter to congress from our management opposing the bill. I can't link to it because it's only internal but here's what the signer, our chief medical officer, said in the Washington Post yesterday:
    Steve Shapiro, chief medical and scientific officer of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said the bill would take a toll on hospitals, increasing the amount of “bad debt” — care they must give free — because patients lack insurance or can't pay their bills. He said the toll would fall especially hard on rural hospitals, many of which are already struggling financially and are fighting an opioid epidemic.

    “In a way, this is moving us back to the bad old days when people didn’t have preventive care, coordinated care, were too sick and used the emergency department,” Shapiro said.
    posted by octothorpe at 7:40 AM on June 23 [22 favorites]


    oops, sorry, rainydayfilms... I didn't see your earlier mention of the WaPost article
    posted by pjenks at 7:43 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


    Benjamin Wittes is ticking again:
    #NotesFromUnderTrump, Day 154: In honor both of the President's "WITCH HUNT" tweet and of the expected magnitude of the detonation...

    TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK
    posted by Roommate at 7:45 AM on June 23 [12 favorites]


    Despite Claims To Contrary, Trump Has Signed No Major Laws 5 Months In (NPR, June 23, 2017)
    President Trump is set to sign a bill today that will make it easier for the secretary of veterans affairs to fire and discipline employees. The Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 will mark Trump's 40th law signed.

    Sounds like a lot.

    And in recent days, Trump has boasted about all the legislation he's signed.
    ...
    Measuring laws passed by counting rather than by significance is pretty meaningless. More on that in a bit. But by way of recent historical comparison, Presidents Jimmy Carter (52), George H.W. Bush (41) and Clinton (41) had all signed more bills into law than President Trump by this point in their presidencies.

    So, what has Trump accomplished with Congress so far? Nothing that political scientists would categorize as major pieces of legislation. We looked at this question as President Trump hit his 100 days mark. This story contains more detail on legislation he signed in the early part of his presidency.

    Types Of Laws That Trump Has Signed
    Repealing Obama-era rules and regulations: 15
    Modifying existing programs: 6
    Encouraging an agency to try something new: 5
    Naming something, siting a memorial or encouraging flag flying: 5
    Personnel-related: 5
    Extending Obama-era policy: 2
    Omnibus appropriations bill: 1

    As he said, President Trump has signed a record number of resolutions reversing Obama-era regulations, 15 in total. It was only used once before, by George W Bush. These resolutions were passed under the Congressional Review Act and only required a simple majority for passage in the Senate.

    That made it much easier to get them through than regular legislation. The Congressional Review Act was passed in 1996 and allows Congress to reverse rules within 60 legislative days of their submission. That period is now over, so you won't see more laws like these any time soon.

    Two of the laws he's signed are budget related. One simply extended federal spending for a week while congress worked out its differences on a longer term funding bill. The other was possibly the most significant legislation signed by President Trump so far. It kept the government funded and set spending levels through the end of September.

    But these sorts of spending bills are also the most basic functions of Congress and the president, literally keeping the lights on.
    Emphasis mine.

    Again, without Obama, Trump would have less to crow about (sorry, crows). Exclude those Obama-related laws, and he's down 39%, or a mere 25 laws signed, and most of them are useless.

    But laws aren't the only way to change things. Trump signed 90 executive actions in his first 100 days, and WIkipedia has the full, current list, where I remember that even Trump's signature doesn't invoke confidence in the man.
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on June 23 [16 favorites]


    I know there are way more important things happening here but, does he really get a pass for this?

    "You been hearing the word unmasking, a word you’ve probably never heard before..."

    He really thinks everyone is less educated than he is. Even when it comes to 3rd-grade vocabulary.
    posted by greermahoney at 7:47 AM on June 23 [34 favorites]


    More from NPR: Trump Sued For Allegedly Violating Presidential Records Act (June 22, 2017)
    Two government watchdog groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, filed a lawsuit Thursday against President Trump and the Executive Office of the President.

    The complaint alleges that White House staffers' widely reported use of encrypted messaging apps, such as Signal and Confide, for internal communication violates the Presidential Records Act.

    In the lawsuit, the groups claim the Trump administration has "failed to adopt adequate policies and guidelines to maintain and preserve presidential records."

    Encrypted messaging apps automatically delete messages, which would prevent those communications from being archived.
    Using apps that auto-delete messages is a lot easier than writing "burn after reading" on your memos.
    posted by filthy light thief at 7:48 AM on June 23 [22 favorites]


    He wants everyone to check with him before making any decisions & he never wants to be told he can't do something. That's his policy.

    Yes. Autocracy is Trump's one and only policy. His most angry moments are when he runs up against a barrier to that Policy, whether they be public opinion, the courts, lawmakers in Congress, and particularly quasi-independent parts of the executive such as the DOJ or FBI.

    The President thinks the government ought to be is his fiefdom, and genuinely (if that word can be used of him without instantly bursting into flames) does not understand why it isn't.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 7:48 AM on June 23 [20 favorites]


    The President thinks the government ought to be is his fiefdom, and genuinely (if that word can be used of him without instantly bursting into flames) does not understand why it isn't.

    And the craven, venal, hateful shitstain representatives of his party are letting him do it, as long as the rich get tax cuts, the poors lose their health care, and the cops can shoot brown people with impunity.
    posted by aspersioncast at 7:55 AM on June 23 [23 favorites]


    Interesting idea for public education about the health care bill....Is there any kind of web site that would let someone type in some basic demographic info about themselves (age, income, location, current health plan) and let them see what would change under Trumpcare?

    That sort of black-and-white personalized info may be what gets people's attention. All they've been hearing thus far is talking heads on the news and in congress talking about "Medicaid" and "pre-existing conditions" and most may not really get that "wait, some of that applies to me". But something that underscores that "wait, this is something that would apply to me" may turn some opinions.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 AM on June 23 [12 favorites]


    NYT: Arab Nations Issue Demands to Qatar
    Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries that recently cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar issued a harsh list of demands on Friday, insisting that the wealthy but tiny Persian Gulf nation shut down the news network Al Jazeera, abandon ties with Islamist organizations and provide detailed information about its funding for political dissidents.

    The demands, which were presented to Qatar through mediators from Kuwait, risked pulling other powers deeper into the rift by calling on the country to shut down a Turkish military base and to downgrade its ties with Iran — a difficult task given that Iran and Qatar share a large gas field that provides much of Qatar’s wealth.
    ...
    The Turkish defense minister, Fikri Isik, rejected the demand that Qatar close the Turkish military base and suggested that Turkey would enhance its presence there as a show of support.
    ...
    More broadly, the list of demands called for undefined “compensation” and for Qatar to conform politically and economically with the other nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

    If Qatar complies, the four countries said, it will be audited once a month for the first year and quarterly during the second year. It would then be monitored for compliance for the next decade.
    Al Jazeera: Arab states issue list of demands to end Qatar crisis
    Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that have cut ties to Qatar have reportedly issued a list of demands to end a major Gulf crisis, insisting that Qatar shut down the Al Jazeera network, close a Turkish military base and scale down ties with Iran.

    In the 13-point list, the countries also demand that Qatar sever all alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other groups, including Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIL (also known as ISIS).

    Associated Press and Reuters news agencies reported they obtained the list from unnamed officials from one of the countries involved in isolating Qatar.
    ...
    Those countries have now given Qatar 10 days to comply with all of the demands, which also include paying an unspecified sum in compensation for what they claimed to be "loss of life and other financial losses caused by Qatar's policies".

    According to the list, Qatar must refuse to naturalise citizens from the four countries and "revoke Qatari citizenship for existing nationals where such citizenship violates those countries' laws".

    Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted that Qatar's neighbours provide a list of demands that was "reasonable and actionable".
    ...
    The document does not specify what the countries will do if Qatar refuses to comply.
    Al Jazeera has also published (at the link above) the full list of reported demands.

    I'm still morbidly curious what, if anything, Trump discussed while he was in Saudi Arabia, and what, if anything, he did to contribute to this. I don't think he caused this -- America isn't the sole mover of events, and it would myopic to suggest it was -- but I don't think he helped.
    posted by cjelli at 7:57 AM on June 23 [12 favorites]


    If we can't get immigrants to do the work, how about non-violent offenders? Maine Gov. LePage conditionally commuted the state prison sentences of 17 male inmates, and is soon expected to commute the sentences of some female inmates as well, to help the struggling tourism industry. (At the same time, his administration is reviewing whether he is legally allowed to commute the sentences of county inmates.) ~ Jesse Bigood, NYT, June 1, 2017 (more information than the NPR piece that aired yesterday)
    Most in Maine agree on the challenging contours of the labor market: The statewide unemployment rate is 3 percent, and innkeepers and restaurateurs have struggled to find workers for the summer tourist season. A drop in the number of available H-2B visas here, for seasonal nonagricultural workers, has not helped.
    ...
    Maine has the oldest population in the nation, largely because of a drop in the birthrate during the 1990s that has not been offset by migration into the state. That has left Maine with a paucity of workers. That shortage is compounded when the state adds around 38,000 seasonal jobs during the summer.
    ...
    Joseph Fitzpatrick, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Corrections, said the governor had commuted only prisoners convicted of nonviolent offenses, and avoided commuting the sentences of sex offenders, drug traffickers and people who had been convicted of domestic abuse.
    posted by filthy light thief at 8:03 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


    Other questions re: the Qatar crisis

    1) How is this new List Of Demands different to the List Of Demands from the other week? Are we just putting that one down the ever-expanding memory hole?

    2) Why is our Secretary of State implicitly saying it is okay to unprovokedly close a country's only land border, deny it access to airspace, endanger the immediate food security of its citizens, holding all these things for ransom until demands are met?

    I don't know enough about the politics of the Arab Gulf states to say whether Qatar should be doing more to oppose terrorism along the lines that the Saudis are demanding, but it seems to me that at least the way this is being done would be considered an act of war if it weren't for the fact that Qatar has no real ability to defend itself, and of course (as was just noted by cjelli), there's a very real possibility that President Trump indicated, whether he meant to or not, that the United States would look the other way as one group of nations engaged in what looks to me very much like dangerous bullying tactics against a smaller neighbor.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 8:09 AM on June 23 [7 favorites]


    The statewide unemployment rate is 3 percent, and innkeepers and restaurateurs have struggled to find workers for the summer tourist season.

    The other side of the free market coin is that you need to be competitive in order to attract labor. Offer more money and make the job less shitty. I don't see why we need to contract out prison labor to help private business stay afloat. This is how the market is supposed to work: the ones who can't compete, fail.
    posted by Autumnheart at 8:10 AM on June 23 [35 favorites]


    Elsewhere in the world: Venezuelan On Daily Life Amid Protests: 'We Need To Be Here To Fight' (NPR, June 22, 2017)

    Venezuela is in its third month of protests against the government of Nicolás Maduro. It's also been suffering from shortages in food, medical supplies and basic goods like toilet paper and shampoo. NPR's Audie Cornish talks to one Venezuelan in Caracas about daily life [as a protester] in the country.

    I don't mean to make light of anyone's situation in the United States, but holy shit -- Venezuela sounds like a nightmare now, and I know it's not the only country in turmoil now. When you get food by word of mouth because there are no staples available in shops, medicine to treat wounds comes from family and friends who travel into the country, and your hope is that the police and military people who face off daily against the protesters might turn around and say "I'm not protecting the government any more," you're in a terrible situation.
    posted by filthy light thief at 8:10 AM on June 23 [21 favorites]


    The other side of the free market coin is that you need to be competitive in order to attract labor.

    It's amazing how rarely news stories about "such-and-such an industry has trouble finding enough workers" even mentions whether the companies are offering enough money, as if it's assumed that in these corporatist times, cutting profits even a little bit to attract workers is simply verboten.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:16 AM on June 23 [52 favorites]


    Qatari Twitter is not impressed with your demands

    in other news, the Arab Street has now fully embraced the strategy of trolling by .gif
    posted by tivalasvegas at 8:19 AM on June 23 [7 favorites]


    Obama also approved a previously undisclosed covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow. The project, which Obama approved in a covert-action finding, was still in its planning stages when Obama left office. It would be up to President Trump to decide whether to use the capability.

    What are the odds Trump has dismantled this program by now? 1000%?
    posted by T.D. Strange at 8:20 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


    But they have no problem painting it as our moral duty as citizens to assume as many of the costs of overhead as possible (see also: horrible health care bill).

    On a larger scale, the investor class is going to be mightily surprised in another 10-15 years when their health care bill essentially topples the economy because they suck at math. I'm sure they'll trot out a bunch of whiny headlines about "no qualified workers" then too.
    posted by Autumnheart at 8:23 AM on June 23 [6 favorites]


    What are the odds Trump has dismantled this program by now? 1000%?

    If they don't run on steam, the President assumes they won't work anyway.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 8:23 AM on June 23 [9 favorites]


    I just realized that the Republican Party is operating on the same principles of, "Let's just do it and be legends, man" know-nothing bravado as Fyre Festival writ large. Yeah, to make things happen, you actually need, like, money and infrastructure, because people don't work for free and things don't build themselves.
    posted by Autumnheart at 8:26 AM on June 23 [15 favorites]


    I'm still morbidly curious what, if anything, Trump discussed while he was in Saudi Arabia, and what, if anything, he did to contribute to this. I don't think he caused this -- America isn't the sole mover of events, and it would myopic to suggest it was -- but I don't think he helped.

    I think what happened is that they spent enough time with him to conclude that it's not a complicated act and that he really is that stupid and easily led to the position of whoever's flattered him most recently. It's entirely possible he made some assurances in addition to that, but I think a lot of it was getting the sense of what his reaction would be, and they found out that it would be pretty much what it was.

    I don't know enough about the politics of the Arab Gulf states to say whether Qatar should be doing more to oppose terrorism along the lines that the Saudis are demanding, but it seems to me that at least the way this is being done would be considered an act of war if it weren't for the fact that Qatar has no real ability to defend itself

    Qatar has almost certainly been involved in the funding of al-Qaeda and ISIS groups, if not directly than through encouraging fundraising to happen. If almost any country in the world other than Saudi Arabia were making this accusation, it would deserve to be taken seriously. But it turns out that what Saudi Arabia objects to isn't funding terrorist groups so much as funding the wrong terrorist groups, where "wrong" has more to do with perceived danger to the Saudi royal family than any measure of viciousness, deadliness, or cruelty.

    I have also heard that while Qatar's military is much smaller than the Saudi military, there's a reasonable chance that they would put up a strong fight. The Saudi military is largely regarded as a paper tiger, and the Qatar military is pretty large and well-equipped for a country of its size, and presumably well set up to defend what's a pretty small piece of territory with only one significant access point. The Saudis would almost certainly eventually prevail, but it would also be an extended bloodbath and not a quick invasion. Plus, the Turkish government has already sent a few thousand troops to Qatar, and if Turkey is going to intervene on Qatar's behalf, it's definitely not going to be a cakewalk for the Saudis.
    posted by Copronymus at 8:30 AM on June 23 [12 favorites]


    That sort of black-and-white personalized info may be what gets people's attention. All they've been hearing thus far is talking heads on the news and in congress talking about "Medicaid" and "pre-existing conditions" and most may not really get that "wait, some of that applies to me". But something that underscores that "wait, this is something that would apply to me" may turn some opinions.

    The vast majority of Trump supporters are largely unaffected by Trumpcare. They have above average incomes and get their health insurance through their employers. They don't see themselves as in danger of losing their health benefits. They do see themselves as paying taxes to give healthcare to poor people.

    Something that is often overlooked is that the Obamacare exchanges only cover about 7% of the population. The Medicaid expansion only covers people living below the poverty line. Most people,over 80%, are not at direct risk by the repeal of Obamacare because they get insurance from employers or are retired and get Medicare. And for Trump supporters they just see Obamacare as welfare for the poor.

    That is why appeals to healthcare fears is not very effective. Most people see the Obamacare argument is being about people other than themselves.
    posted by JackFlash at 8:38 AM on June 23 [11 favorites]


    But if that online tool would factor in other considerations, like "do you have a parent over the age of ____?" or "do you have a child with any of these conditions: ________?" or "have you ever heard of 'cancer'" or "do you plan to become elderly one day?"

    I think there are ways to get people, even Trump supporters, to realize that they are or will be sick, old, and/or disabled at some point during their lives and that all of that shit is six-figures expensive. And that employer-sponsored health insurance is likely going to change for the worse, also.
    posted by witchen at 8:44 AM on June 23 [11 favorites]


    Vox has an explainer of how the Byrd rule works:

    Dylan Scott/Vox : The obscure Senate rule that still could save Obamacare, explained
    A bill being considered under reconciliation has to check every box of the six-part Byrd Rule. If it fails any one of those tests, it must be stripped out.
    1. The provision must change federal spending or revenue.
    2. If the bill does not meet the budget resolution’s instructions to reduce the federal deficit, any provision that results in either increased spending or decreased revenue is removed until it does meet those targets.
    3. The provision must only affect policies that fall under the jurisdiction of the specific committees that were instructed in the budget resolution.
    4. The provision’s effect on spending or revenues must be more than incidental to its policy impact.
    5. The provision cannot increase the federal deficit at some point in the future, beyond the typical 10-year “budget window” that is used to evaluate legislation.
    6. The provision cannot change Social Security.
    Most of the time, if part of a bill fails that six-part test, that provision is removed and the rest of the legislation is allowed to advance.

    But some violations can be considered “fatal” — meaning that the entire bill would need 60 votes to pass. Those could include any provisions that violate No. 3, on the issue of jurisdiction, I’m told. Congress is said to have controversially exempted itself from part of the health care bill because the bill would otherwise have been risk of such a fatal Byrd Rule violation. Member benefits, like their health insurance, fall under a different committee’s jurisdiction, one that wasn’t included in the budget resolution. Without the exemption, the bill could have lost its 50-vote privileges in the Senate.
    posted by ZeusHumms at 8:44 AM on June 23 [18 favorites]


    There's churn though, JackFlash. I agree with your point generally, but what people have got to understand* is that while they may be covered by employer-based insurance for most of their working lives, if they're laid off or lose their job and have either expensive maintenance medications/medical care or are injured while not employed, they're fucked unless they elected to pay through the nose for COBRA.

    Not to mention that self-employed people actually have the ability to get reasonably transparent and reasonably priced insurance under the ACA.

    Finally, I would hope** that people would consider their adult children, less well-off relatives and such who may rely on ACA coverage through the Marketplace or expanded Medicaid. 7% is not a huge number, of course, but how many people know someone in that 7%? There's around that many LGBTQ people in the US, and pretty much everyone knows at least one of us --- because we came out.

    People who are directly benefiting from ACA coverage need to come out to their conservative friends and relatives and explain what this means to them personally.

    *spoiler: they won't
    **this hope is probably vain
    posted by tivalasvegas at 8:48 AM on June 23 [11 favorites]


    That is why appeals to healthcare fears is not very effective. Most people see the Obamacare argument is being about people other than themselves.

    Just offhand, the ACA provision that lets parents keep their children on their policies until they are 26 is popular. Also, the ACA created many improvements for insurance generally, including reducing or eliminating the copays for preventative care (which, again, the guy from Marketplace pointed out would cost more in the long one when the Republican plan eliminates them). The Republicans have been trying to sell their "repeal" as "...but keeping all the popular bits," but eliminating the mandate alone will wreck the cost curve, so people with insurance thru their work are indeed likely to be affected, even if they don't think so.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:49 AM on June 23 [7 favorites]


    "The vast majority of Trump supporters believe they are largely unaffected by Trumpcare."

    I had to fix that for you. Everyone is affected by Trumpcare and Obama care, full stop. I have coverage through my employer so it doesn't directly affect me. How it will affect me is through continued rising healthcare costs that translate into ever higher premiums. Even if my employer is especially gracious and doesn't pass the entirety of those costs down to me, that's still money can't be used for raises, bonuses, stock buy-backs, hardware and software purchases, or simply hiring more people.

    This affects everyone, I'm sure we all know that, but it should be front-and-center and clear as day to everyone.
    posted by VTX at 8:49 AM on June 23 [68 favorites]


    When the Koch Brother funded Cato Institute comes out against the BCRA, you know it sucks.